By Stephen M. Silverman
Updated October 16, 2002 01:00 PM

For the third week of the new season, NBC has captured the prime-time lead in key demographics while CBS took in the largest audience overall — its best season-opening run in 10 years, according to the trade papers.

The biggest winner of the week was CBS’s “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,” which ended up the top-rated show of the week and pulled in a series-record 30.7 million viewers Thursday night, according to Nielsen Media Research.

CBS and the WB, meanwhile, are the only networks to show overall gains in the coveted adults 18-49 demographic group, Variety reports. The WB (which, like PEOPLE, is part of AOL Time Warner) also matched its best weekly rating ever among adults 18-34 — set the prior week — and set an all-time record high among adults aged 18-49.

Just to put things into perspective, however, the top WB show overall was “Smallville,” which tied at No. 72 with a special rerun of “America’s Funniest Home Videos” and an original episode of “Monk,” both on ABC.

Speaking of ABC, even that struggling network showed some life last week, delivering its best 18-49 rating since the week of the Academy Awards in March.

For the week of Oct. 7-13, the Top 10 shows were as follows:

1. “CSI,” CBS, 30.7 million viewers
2. “Friends,” NBC, 26.6 million
3. “ER,” NBC, 24.7 million
4. “Survivor: Thailand,” CBS, 21.2 million
5. “Law & Order,” NBC, 20.2 million
6. “Will & Grace,” NBC, 20.2 million
7. “Everybody Loves Raymond,” CBS, 19.9 million
8. “Scrubs,” NBC, 18.6 million
9. “CSI: Miami,” CBS, 17.2 million
10. “Good Morning Miami,” NBC, 16.3 million