'CSI' On Top Despite Presidential DelayBy Michelle
May 2, 2003 - 6:33 PM
See Also: 'Forever' Episode Guide
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation and CBS won the 9-10 p.m. hour in the overnight ratings for Thursday, May 1, despite a delayed broadcast due to a nationally televised speech by President George Bush.
Zap2It reports that the presidential address, which began at 9 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time and ended at 9:30, split the evening's usual timeslots. CBS News had the highest rated coverage of Bush's address with a 12.1 rating/19 share. This is a lower rating than CBS usually draws in that hour when a new CSI episode airs.
The network saw its numbers rise when the episode "Forever" began at 9:30, earning a 14.6/22 for the first half-hour. This means that approximately 14.6% of American households with televisions were tuned to CSI, and that the show was viewed by 22 percent of households watching television at the time.
However, the second half of CSI was factored into the ratings for the 10 p.m. timeslot, which was won by NBC with a average 12.7 rating/20 share for a special presentation of Scrubs and the beginning of ER. The ending of CSI and the beginning of Without a Trace averaged only an 11.2/18.
NBC won a tight race for the entire night with an 11.9 rating/19 share, earning an 8.3 rating among adults 18-49 to CBS's 6.6, though CBS held a slight lead in total viewers and was a close second in nightly ratings with an 11.8/19. These numbers may change when the total ratings have been calculated, due to the difficulty of calculating live television ratings during an event like a public address.
CSI's final ratings for last week's episode, "Last Laugh", a 16.2/24, were down slightly from previous weeks due to NBC's increased viewership in the second half-hour with Madonna's guest appearance on Will and Grace. Yet CSI remained the number one show in the weekly rankings.