Ratings: Lost almost dethroned, NBC skids

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It's criminal what is happening to Lost this season. Criminal Minds, that is.

The CBS crime series starring Mandy Patinkin has stealthily marched up behind ABC's island drama, coming within striking distance of stealing the show's spot at the top of the Wednesday night ratings pile. Last night, Minds came even closer, earning exactly the same amount of total viewers, 16.1 million.

In the 18 to 49 demo, however, Lost still ruled. Lost earned a 6.5 rating/16 share in the important 18 to 49 year-old demographic, while Minds scored a 4.5/11 in the demo.

Elsewhere, NBC's sitcoms suffered a loss of their own. 30 Rock and Twenty Good Years were down 19 percent from their premieres last week. With NBC Universal president Jeff Zucker saying today that the network is concentrating on cheaper fare such as reality and game shows for the 8 p.m. prime-time spots, 30 and Twenty may not be long for this world.

At 8 p.m., Dancing With the Stars on ABC hotfooted away with a 4.9, CBS's nuclear drama Jericho irradiated 3.1, Fox and NLCS baseball hit a 2.5, tying with the CW and America's Next Top Model, and NBC's 30 Rock and Twenty slunk in with a combined 2.2.

At 9 p.m., ABC and Lost scored a 6.5, with CBS's Minds nipping at its heels with a 4.5. Fox and NLCS batted a 3.3, NBC's The Biggest Loser ate up a 3.1, and CW's One Tree Hill sprouted a 1.3.

At 10 p.m., CBS and CSI: NY held a 5.0, followed by Fox and baseball at a 3.8, ABC's The Nine at a 3.2, and NBC's Dateline at 2.6.

Overnight averages in the 18 to 49 demo break down with ABC at a 4.9 rating/13 share, with 14.5 million viewers; CBS at 4.2/11, 14.2 million; Fox at 3.2/8, 10.4 million; NBC at 2.6/7, 6.7 million; and CW at 1.9/5, 4.0 million.

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