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'Grace's' wedding rings rating bell

November 23, 2002|Brian Lowry

A sweeps-timed wedding on NBC's "Will & Grace" generated the program's second-largest audience ever, according to Nielsen Media Research estimates, with the show attracting 24.3 million viewers Thursday -- dropping time-slot competitor "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" to its smallest audience this season.

The only "Will & Grace" to draw a bigger audience was broadcast in February and also featured a major guest star, Matt Damon. On Thursday's installment, Grace (Debra Messing) married a character played by Harry Connick Jr., culminating a romance that had been building for weeks.

"CSI" still won the 9 p.m. hour with almost 26 million viewers, but the NBC comedy held a decisive edge in the younger demographics most sought by advertisers. The CBS show that follows, "Without a Trace," also slipped to its smallest audience yet, with 14 million viewers.

Brian Lowry

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