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Bad-ass ‘Bones’ Big Boost to Fox’s Thursday

With “Survivor” on break and ABC struggling at 8, Fox is feeling great

Three things worth noting about Thursday’s ratings:

– Fox’s go-slow approach on Thursday is paying off. Last night’s "Bones" (3.5 rating/10 share in adults 18-49) scored its best Thursday numbers yet and easily won the 8 p.m. timeslot. Of course, it was opposite atypical competion (comedy repeats on CBS rather than "Survivor").

Even more impressive: "Bones" outdrew CBS’ "CSI" (3.1/8) in the demo for the first time ever. Yes, "CSI" had a weaker-than-usual lead-in, but c’mon: It’s the mighty "CSI," right?

The fact is, while there’s no denying "CSI" remains a great player for CBS — and the timeslot leader in viewers — the show has quietly passed on from powerhouse status. You have to wonder if CBS doesn’t seriously consider making a change on Thursdays next season in order to breathe new life into a night that, while still very solid, lacks any spark.

– ABC has its own Thursday issues. Much-hyped new legal drama "The Deep End" managed only a 1.8/5, down 38 percent from the "FlashForward" season average. (If the show drops off sharply next week, TV writers everywhere will no doubt be tempted to write, "Ratings for ‘The Deep End’ have, well, fallen off the deep end…." Wait, just did.)

And while "Grey’s Anatomy" (4.6/12) is younger, healthier and arguably still a little sexier than "CSI," ABC’s medical soap earned its lowest numbers yet (maybe viewers weren’t breathlessly awaiting the return of Izzie after all). On the bright side, "Private Practice" (3.6/10) is stable and beat CBS’ "The Mentalist" (3.1/8). The latter show, which had been expected to explode on Thursdays, had its lowest tune-in ever in the demo.

– As for NBC: Haven’t they suffered enough this week? We’re issuing them a free pass.

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