Road to the Upfront: CBS/UPN

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Upfront host: Either CBS Chairman Les Moonves or Entertainment President Nina Tassler. UPN has not decided.

Other side of the table: Sales President JoAnne Ross will represent both.

Performance in 18-49s: CBS is on par with last year's 4 rating, and 5.2 million viewers in that demo. CBS is tied with Fox for first place.* At UPN, performance is off 0.3% to a 1.4 rating. Its target is younger women.

Performance in total viewers: CBS is down very slightly, with 13 million viewers. UPN is down 5% to 3.45 million viewers.*

Best performing new shows: "CSI: New York" improved the Wednesday performance at CBS by 100% in adults aged 18-49, despite formidable competition from NBC's "Law & Order." At UPN, "Veronica Mars" and "Kevin Hill" were strong until Fox's "American Idol" came along.

Best returning shows: "Survivor" and "CSI" continue to do well on CBS, though "CSI" was displaced by "American Idol" as the No. 1 regularly programmed show in week 24 (Feb. 28-March 7). At UPN, "America's Next Top Model" remains a pop-culture score.

Weakest areas: Much has been made of "CBS Evening News," though CBS Chairman Les Moonves had pledged to look at overhauling the broadcast. Friday is a tough night for CBS, though newly launched "Numb3rs" outperformed NBC's "Medical Investigation" in recent weeks. UPN has already announced it is shelving "Enterprise."

Most successful product placement/ sponsorship: "Survivor," now in its 10th season, continues to be CBS's most attractive property for product integration, with General Motors and Home Depot featured this season. Over at UPN, "America's Next Top Model" included products from Cover Girl.

Audience average age: CBS: 51.4, down from 52.5. UPN: 33.1, down from 34.

Last year's CPM increase: CBS: 9% to 11%; UPN: 8% to 10%

Last year's upfront haul: CBS: $2.4 billion; UPN: $350,000

The buyer's verdict: John Rash, director-broadcast negotiations, Interpublic's Campbell Mithun, said: "CBS has positioned itself not just on traditional 25-54 or 35-64, but also on 18-49 as well." UPN's had " significant declines; the younger viewers are being enticed by the cable competition." Geoff Robison, senior VP-national TV, Palisades Media Group, said: "CBS is stable, but it's not gaining momentum, because ABC has had some success," while UPN's `"Smackdown' is not a good fit. The people come for that and then they go away again."

* Nielsen Media Research. Season-to-date is Sept. 20 to March, 7.

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