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A Warm Welcome for New CSIer

CSI, Lawrence Fishburne, William Petersen Sonja Flemming/CBS

A perfect storm whipped up CSI's best numbers since its season premiere, Nielsen estimates showed.

Boasting Laurence Fishburne's series debut, featuring the departing (but still-around-for-now) William Petersen, and going opposite a Grey's Anatomy rerun at 9 p.m., CSI scored 20.6 million viewers, up more than 3 million from last week.

The Office (8.8 million) and 30 Rock (7.5 million) seemed to benefit from Grey's Anatomy's virtual night off, with both shows improving their ratings among the 18-49 crowd.

Survivor: Gabon (13.2 million), airing its final Thursday edition, was up from last week, as were My Name Is Earl (6.6 million), Kath & Kim (5.3 million) and ER (8.9 million).

Eleventh Hour owes lead-in CSI a tip. It was up so much, it hit a season high (13.4 million).

Ugly Betty, Private Practice (getting a practice run on its new night), Smallville and Supernatural joined Grey's on the crowded rerun sideline. Fox wasn't a player with new episodes of Secret Millionaire (5.4 million) and especially Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader? (4.6 million).

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