The new TV season's biggest face-off so far went to the randy doctors.Ron Tom, ABC
Last week's season premiere of ABC's "Grey's Anatomy," with Patrick Dempsey and Ellen Pompeo, pulled in more viewers than CBS's "CSI" in the same time slot.
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ABC's "Grey's Anatomy" beat CBS's "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation," for years TV's most popular drama and leader of its own franchise, in their first competition.
"Grey's Anatomy" had 25.4 million viewers for its season premiere last Thursday, compared to 22.6 million for "CSI" in the same 9 p.m. time slot, according to Nielsen Media Research. That's a sharp drop from last year, when more than 29 million people tuned in to the "CSI" season premiere.
ABC, owned by the Walt Disney Co., has heavily promoted the move of "Grey's Anatomy" from Sundays. It's always risky to move a show, but the potential payoff is big: Thursday is considered the most lucrative night in the television business, primarily because movie companies are looking to advertise right before the weekend.
It was ABC's best Thursday night with entertainment programming since May 2000, the network said.
There were mixed results for all the networks throughout the night. NBC's venerable "ER" came back to win its 10 p.m. time slot with 15.6 million viewers, no small feat considering both CBS and ABC premiered new dramas with powerful lead-ins then.
CBS's lawyer drama "Shark" was second with 14.7 million while the ABC drama "Six Degrees" had 12.6 million. In both cases, particularly "Six Degrees," there was a large drop in viewers during the second half-hour, an indication of people who didn't like what they saw.
(David Bauder, Associated Press)
'Idol' still an advertiser hit
And your next American Idol is ... "American Idol."
Fox's blockbuster hit once again takes the top prize as the most expensive show on television.
Advertisers will pay a whopping $700,000 per 30-second spot for the Tuesday night edition of the singing contest bonanza when it starts up again in January, according to a survey of media buyers conducted by Advertising Age.
This is the third year in row that "Idol" -- the highest rated show of the past season -- tops the charts as the priciest show in TV-land.
The show's big sponsors have been Coke, Ford and Cingular.
The Wednesday-night edition remains the second-most expensive, with prices ranging between $550,000 and $700,000.
"The audience numbers support the price," said Pattie Garrahy, chief executive of media buyer PGR Media. Garrahy noted "the age and quality of viewer," who are in the 25- to 49-year-old demographic coveted by advertisers.
The show is "so hyped, and Fox builds up an appetite by putting it on in midseason," said Brad Adgate, director of research for Horizon Media.
Other shows commanding top dollar include the Fox drama "House." Its prices are through the roof, double last year's $200,000 for a 30-second spot.
Also fetching big ad bucks are ABC's "Desperate Housewives" and "Brothers and Sisters," making its debut this season on ABC.
But there are also bargains to be had on the TV dial. News Corp.'s brand new network, My Network TV, has priced its telenovelas at the bottom of the barrel. "Desire" and "Fashion House" are priced at anywhere between $20,000 and $35,000 a spot, Advertising Age said.
(Phyllis Furman, New York Daily News)
Heather Sneed, 34, a nurse from Aliquippa, will be among the women competing for the love of 34-year-old Italian prince Lorenzo Borghese on ABC's "The Bachelor: Rome" (9 p.m. Monday, WTAE). ... Allison Intrieri, a graduate of North Allegheny High School, wrote tonight's episode of "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" (10 p.m., NBC). ... Freelance reporter Brandon Lenoir is no longer working for WTAE-TV. ... Tomorrow night's episodes of "Desire" and "Fashion House" (8 and 9 p.m., WPMY) will catch viewers up on the story so far. ... CBS's "Rock Star: Supernova," which had been subject to a lawsuit by a Southern California punk band called Supernova, will tour under the name Rock Star Supernova as part of a settlement agreement. ... Seth Meyers, head writer of "Saturday Night Live," will replace Tina Fey at the "Weekend Update" desk, anchoring alongside Amy Poehler.
(Staff and wire reports)