Despite airing against the season premiere of CBS's top-ranked CSI and the second hour of a special two-hour season premiere of ABC's Extreme Makeover, the third episode of NBC's The Apprentice 2 held up well in the ratings, retaining nearly all of of its previous week's viewers and Adults 18-49 rating.

According to the final Nielsen national ratings, The Apprentice's Thursday, September 23 episode drew 15.9 million viewers and a 8.0/20 rating/share in the Adults 18-49 demographic. While the performance wasn't good enough for The Apprentice to repeat its prior week ranking as the top-ranked program among Adults 18-49 (this week that title went to the non-repeat broadcast of timeslot competitor CSI) The Apprentice did manage to retain 99.9% of last week's viewers figure, as well as 96% of its Adults 18-49 rating.

While trailing well behind the 30.57 million viewers and 11.4/28 Adults 18-49 rating/share drawn by CSI, The Apprentice did manage to finish second in its hour in Adults 18-49, more than tripling the numbers drawn by Extreme Makeover. Additionally, The Apprentice did manage to rank as the week's top-ranked Adults 18-49 reality program (edging CBS's Survivor: Vanuatu) and trailed only CSI and NBC lead-out ER in the week's Adults 18-49 rankings.