Nancy Travis, Tim Allen

Despite negative reviews, people were curious to see Tim Allen's new sitcom. Last Man Standing debuted to 12.95 million viewers and nabbed a 3.5 rating among industry-prized 18-to-49-year-olds, overnight Nielsen ratings showed.

ABC sounded happy afterward, noting that the show achieved the network's highest demo rating in the Tuesday at 8/7c time slot in nearly two years.

Photo timeline: The emasculation of men on TV

The comedy had to face one of the three top-rated shows on television, CBS' NCIS, which attracted 18.66 million viewers (3.9), yet managed to improve substantially upon No Ordinary Family's debut audience of 10.5 million.

Against NCIS and Allen's comeback, the first hour of The Biggest Loser on NBC drew 5.34 million people and The CW's 90210 1.54 million. Fox pre-empted its usual lineup for the third game of the ALCS between the Detroit Tigers and Texas Rangers, averaging 7.93 million fans.

Read our Dancing with the Stars recap

At 9/8c, Dancing with the Stars' results show attracted 16.60 million vs. NCIS: Los Angeles (15.39 million), the second hour of Loser (5.58 million) and Ringer (1.72 million after plummeting to a series low 1.49 million last week).

In prime time's final hour Tuesday, Unforgettable attracted 11.78 million viewers, outpacing Body of Proof (9.38 million) and Parenthood (5.26 million).

Rosie: Where bad stand-up goes to die and Russell Brand steals children

On basic cable, the ratings-hungry OWN tried to jump-start its viewership with the debut of The Rosie Show and Oprah's Lifeclass — to rather disappointing results. Rosie's O'Donnell's new show had an average of 497,000 viewers on Monday, while the show that recycles material from Oprah Winfrey's old daytime show got just 333,000. The upside: the shows were simulcast on five Discovery Channels, which brought their totals up to 1.5 million and 1.2 million, respectively.