FOX's telecast of an NFL preseason game between the Eagles and the Colts wasn't quite enough to win Thursday overall, but the pigskin action helped the network win the 18-49 demographic.
Among adults 18-49, FOX averaged a 2.5 rating, comfortably topping the 1.9 rating for CBS in the key demographic. NBC's 1.1 rating and the 1.0 rating for ABC left The CW in last with a 0.8 rating.
Overall, though, CBS averaged an estimated 7.67 million viewers to go with a 5.1 rating/9 share, tops for the night. FOX was second with a 4.2/7. ABC's 3.0/5 was a distant third, topping the 2.3/4 for NBC. The CW trailed with a 1.4/2.
CBS started the night in first with a 4.7/8 for "Big Brother," which continued its mid-season momentum. ABC's "Who Wants To Be a Millionaire" had a 4.5/8, nipping the 4.1/7 for FOX's NFL telecast. NBC's "30 Rock" and "Parks and Recreation" was fourth, bettering a 1.4/2 for The CW's "Supernatural" (almost certainly inflated by live sports coverage in some markets, since repeats of "Supernatural" don't do that well on their own).
"CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" kept CBS on top in the 9 p.m. hour with a 5.1/9. FOX's NFL was second with a 4.4/7. ABC's "Grey's Anatomy" repeat held off the 2.1/4 for NBC's "The Office" and "30 Rock," while The CW's "Supernatural" stayed steady.
"The Mentalist" closed the night strongly for CBS with a 5.4/10. NBC's "Law & Order" was second with a 2.7/5, leaving ABC in last with "Private Practice."
All ratings information comes from preliminary Fast National Nielsen data, which includes live and same-day DVR viewing. All numbers are subject to change.