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Ratings: 'CSI' Debut Draws Big Numbers Thursday

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Fast National ratings for Thursday, Oct. 9, 2008

The season premiere of "CSI" led CBS to a ratings win Thursday.

It was a busy night across the dial, as a pair of new series battled to a virtual tie at 10 p.m., a "Saturday Night Live" special scored solid numbers for NBC and postseason baseball whiffed on FOX.

CBS averaged a 9.6 rating/15 share in primetime, beating ABC, 7.7/12, by better than 4 million viewers. NBC took third with a 5.5/9. FOX, 4.4/7, came in fourth, though its numbers will change some because of its live sports coverage. The CW drew a 2.3/4.

In the adults 18-49 demographic, CBS' 4.9 rating led the field. ABC finished second at 4.0, followed closely by NBC at 3.9. FOX averaged 2.1 and The CW 1.5.

"Survivor: Gabon" put CBS on top at 8 p.m. with a 7.8/13. "Ugly Betty," 5.8/9, snagged second for ABC. "My Name Is Earl," 4.4/7, and the premiere of "Kath & Kim," 4.7/7, were third for NBC. Game 1 of the National League Championship series snagged fourth for FOX, ahead of "Smallville," 2.6/4, on The CW.

The "CSI" premiere, with the team tracking down Warrick's killer, scored a 13.7/21 at 9 p.m. -- far and away the night's biggest audience. "Grey's Anatomy," 9.7/15, kept ABC in second. NBC stayed in third with "The Office," 5.4/8, and a "Saturday Night Live Weekend Update Thursday" special, 6.3/9. FOX's baseball coverage earned a 4.3/6, while The CW dropped off a little with "Supernatural."

At 10 p.m., the debut of "Life on Mars" won the hour for ABC with a 7.7/13. CBS' "Eleventh Hour" premiere was right behind at 7.3/12, but it lost a lot more of its lead-in than "Mars." NBC's "ER" drew a 6.0/10, and led the hour in the 18-49 demo.

Ratings information is taken from fast national data, which includes live and same-day DVR viewing. All numbers are preliminary and subject to change, especially in the case of live telecasts.

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