'Chris' Rocks Ratings; 'Apprentice' Slips

UPN's new sitcom "Everybody Hates Chris" (search) rocked the cutthroat Thursday-night ratings race.

The new comedy from comedian Chris Rock (search) drew nearly 7.6 million viewers, a stellar audience for UPN (search), whose shows typically attract far fewer viewers.

In fact, "Chris" was the highest-rated debut of a scripted sitcom in UPN history, but not the most watched episode of a UPN show.

That distinction belongs to "Star Trek: Voyager," which drew roughly 22 million viewers for its 1995 launch (back when TV shows faced less competition for viewers from cable and the Internet).

Overall, in the prized adults 18-49 demo, "Chris" beat its timeslot rivals "Joey" (NBC), "The O.C." (FOX) and even "Survivor" on sister network CBS.

The sitcom is loosely based on the life of Rock, and follows the misadventures of a kid-version of the comic whose parents forced him to be bused to an all-white school in New York City.

Other Thursday-night winners included the season premier of "CSI," TV's most popular drama which snared about 28.3 million viewers, according to early Nielsen estimates.

CBS continued to steamroll the competition with the debut of "Criminal Minds."

The new crime drama, starring Mandy Patinkin, was seen by nearly 20 million viewers, while the season premiere of "ER" — once TV's most dominant drama — drew about 14.3 million viewers.

Meanwhile, the season premiere of Donald Trump's "The Apprentice" managed only 9.9 million viewers.