CBS was officially declared 4-for-4 in the new TV season yesterday -- its first such record since the 1987 advent of the people-meter viewer-measurement system. But Fox stole the show when word got out yesterday that this week's debut of David E. Kelley's drama series "Girls Club" had crashed and burned spectacularly.
Here's a look at the fireballs and flameouts:
"CSI." Nearly 31 million viewers is a high for the CBS drama -- last week's most watched program. At 9 Thursday night, about 40 percent more people were watching "CSI" than were watching NBC, which used to rule the whole night. The graphic forensic drama catapulted CBS to its second consecutive Thursday night win among all viewers and second place among those 18 to 49.
"Angel." The WB show beat former gal pal "Buffy" last week, by 30,000 viewers.
"Smallville." WB's teenage-Superman series beat all Big Four competitors last Tuesday at 9:30 p.m. among the 18-to-49-year-old viewers the Big Four chase.
"Monk." ABC's Thursday rerun of the cable crime drama beat Fox's rerun of its own new cop drama, "Fastlane," by more than 4 million viewers.
World Series. Games 1 and 2 gave Fox big wins on Saturday and Sunday nights, but they scored record lows in household ratings, which is the way such franchises are tracked historically.
"Girls Club." Fox viewers are so over David Kelley. On Monday the debut of his chick-lawyer drama pulled in an anorexic 5.78 million viewers in the 9 p.m. slot that his "Ally McBeal" once owned. "Girls Club" actually got beaten by WB's "Everwood," which drew 5.84 million people. Last year's season debut of "Ally" had scored nearly 11 million viewers and twice as many 18-to-49-year-olds -- and Fox canceled it due to viewer apathy. Heck, "American Embassy" debuted in the same time slot last spring with 8 million viewers and it got canceled after four episodes.
Wednesday doc dramas. "A doctor drama -- that'll really sink 'Law & Order'!" ABC and CBS decided at the exact same time last spring. Instead, both ABC's "MDs" and CBS's "Presidio Med" are now on the critical list.
"Dancing at the Harvest Moon." CBS's once-strong Sunday movie was buried in fourth place last weekend.
"In-Laws"/"Just Shoot Me." NBC execs must get headaches trying to remember whether "Just Shoot Me" or "In-Laws" is running at 8 p.m. Tuesday on any given week -- best we can guess, they've flip-flopped them three times now. That doesn't speak well for either show, but especially for "Just Shoot Me," which ought to be able to stand on its own by now, without a protected time slot.
The week's 10 most watched programs, in order: CBS's "CSI"; NBC's "Friends" and "ER"; CBS's "Survivor: Thailand"; Fox's NFL Sunday overrun; CBS's "Everybody Loves Raymond"; NBC's "Will & Grace"; Fox's World Series Game 2; NBC's "Law & Order"; and CBS's "CSI: Miami."