TV Article

Cold Cases

CBS reruns dominate weekly ratings race. New shows like ''Simple Life 2'' fail to crack the top 10

While NBC and Fox bend over backwards to program new shows all summer, CBS is beating them by kicking back and airing reruns. CBS landed seven reruns in the top 10 this week (including the top show, an old ''CSI: Crime Scene Investigations,'' that drew 15.3 million viewers, according to Nielsen) and was the most-watched network of the week, averaging 8.8 million viewers. Even the lone new show in the top 10, CBS' broadcast of the American Film Institute's ''100 Years, 100 Songs'' list (No. 3, 12.3 million viewers), was built around nostalgia for old movies.

Fox's ''The Simple Life 2'' didn't crack the top 10, but it continues to be a summer hit, drawing 9.3 million viewers to finish in 12th place overall and first among the coveted 18-to-49 demographic. Fox's other new shows are doing so-so (''Method & Red'' finished at No. 39) or poorly (''North Shore,'' No. 78). NBC drew solid numbers for ''Last Comic Standing'' (No. 18), the season premiere of ''Who Wants to Marry My Dad?'' (No. 20), and ''For Love or Money 3'' (No. 25), but not for ''Next Action Star'' (No. 62). Still, none of its new shows did as well as the two ''Law & Order'' reruns that finished in the top 10. Overall, NBC finished second for the week with an average of 7.2 million, while Fox couldn't even beat ABC, finishing fourth with 4.8 million, behind ABC's 5 million. The netlet battle saw UPN eke out a win over The WB, 2.4 million to 2.3 million.

Over on cable, FX's ''Nip/Tuck'' scored its highest ratings to date with its second season premiere, which drew 3.8 million plastic surgery enthusiasts. That's almost as many as watched HBO's ''Six Feet Under'' last week (3.9 million). Also scoring well was the premiere of TBS' ''Outback Jack,'' which pulled 2.1 million for the Down Under dating show.

Originally posted Jun 30, 2004