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CSI Files

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'The Apprentice' Masters 'CSI'

By Michelle
April 17, 2004 - 11:11 PM

See Also: 'Bad Words' Episode Guide

The Apprentice became the master on Thursday night, becoming the highest-rated show of the evening and knocking CSI: Crime Scene Investigation from its frequent spot at the top of television rankings for the week.

According to Mediaweek's Programming Insider, "Bad Words" earned a 16.5 rating/24 share in the fast national ratings. This means that on Thursday at 9 p.m., approximately 16.5% of households were estimated to be tuned to CBS, and 24% of households watching television at the time had CSI onscreen.

This rating is actually up slightly from earlier episodes this season and tied with The Apprentice finale's 16.5/24. But in total viewers, Donald Trump's reality show was estimated to have 26.01 million watching last week, compared to CSI's 23.58 million.

Moreover, The Apprentice had higher ratings among adults 18-49: 16.1/25, compared to 14.6/23 for CSI.

Several critics took The Apprentice's triumph as yet another sign that reality television continues to dominate serials. "The first hour bested an original episode of CBS' CSI by 8 percent in the overnights, 2.43 million viewers and 10 percent among adults 18-49," noted Media Insider Marc Berman.

Cynthia Littleton of Reuters noted that the two-hour Apprentice finale delivered NBC's highest-rated telecast in 18 months, making it the third-highest rated entertainment program of the season behind the Academy Awards and the post-Super Bowl premiere of Survivor: All-Stars.

Overnight ratings are available at Mediaweek. The Reuters ratings article is here.

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