ABC's new comedies have given the network something to smile about.
Modern Family and Cougar Town debuted to 12.7 million and 11.4 million viewers, respectively. Although CBS' Criminal Minds won the 9/8c timeslot in overall viewers (15.4 million), the ABC comedy combo was the most-watched in the key demographics. Following a Dancing with the Stars results show, which won the 8/7c hour with 15 million viewers, Modern Family improved ABC's rating in the demo by 23 percent.
Despite stiff premiere competition at 9/8c, Glee pulled 6.6 million viewers, a loss of only 5 percent week-to-week. NBC's Law & Order: SVU premiere was watched by 8.2 million viewers, but came up last in the demos.
Comedy wasn't as strong for CBS. A 8/7c combo of debuts from The New Adventures of Old Christine (7.7 million viewers) and Gary Unmarried (7.4 million viewers) took second behind Dancing. Fox's So You Think You Can Dance was up slightly from a week ago with 5.6 million viewers and NBC's Mercy debuted to 8.2 million viewers.
At 10, ABC's...
A huge premiere for NCIS paved the way for CBS' biggest nightly audience since 1993.
NCIS tops our list of the most-anticipated returning shows
Twenty million viewers tuned into NCIS, a 28 percent leap from last season's premiere. Spin-off NCIS: Los Angeles benefited from the lead-in, drawing an audience of 18.3 million viewers, a 23 percent improvement over The Mentalist's premiere in that spot a year ago.
The one-two punch of NCIS shows outperformed the other network's two-hour airings. The second night of Dancing with the Stars three-night premiere pulled in 15.2 million viewers for ABC, while NBC's Biggest Loser and Fox's Hell's Kitchen earned 7.5 million and 7 million viewers, respectively. On the CW, 90210 stayed even with 2.2 million viewers, while Melrose Place continued its decline with only 1.5 million viewers.
CBS' newcomer legal ...
It's not all bad news for the CW: After the premiere of Melrose Place fizzled, The Vampire Diaries became the most-watched series premiere in the network's history.
Diaries' first episode was watched by 4.8 million viewers, enough to top 90210's 2008 debut. The fifth-season-opener of Supernatural, however, didn't hold on to the great lead-in. It drew 3.4 million viewers, a loss of 500,000 from last season's premiere.
The night was still dominated, however, by football. NBC's coverage ...
Barack Obama, Matthew Morrison
Fox's relentlessly promoted Glee series premiere opened to the tune of 7.3 million viewers, and ruled the night in the key demographics.
Glee got a bit of a head start thanks to President Obama's congressional address running into the 9 o'clock hour. The Obama speech pushed ABC's Wipeout back an hour, where it came in well below its average with 5 million viewers. Similarly, America's Got Talent pulled its lowest numbers this season, though its 9.7 million viewers was still enough to win the night overall.
Not benefiting from the Obama address as much as perhaps expected were the fall debuts of So You Think You Can Dance and America's Next Top Model. The latter was watched by ...
Melrose Place, 90210
Melrose Place's swimming-pool-murder premiere failed to make a splash.
Melrose: Compare the new cast to the old
The CW's newest tenant drew 2.3 million viewers in the 9/8c hour, a number typical for the CW, but no doubt below expectations for a buzzed-about series premiere. (Last year's 90210 premiere, for example, drew 4.9 million viewers.)
The Melrose reboot did, however, hold onto most of 90210's second-season premiere audience. The high school drama was watched by....
Jon Hamm, Mad Men
All the buzz surrounding the third-season premiere of Mad Men has apparently paid off: The critically acclaimed AMC series drew its biggest audience ever.
Sunday's episode was watched by 2.8 million viewers, a 33 percent increase from last season's premiere, according to The Hollywood Reporter. When factoring in repeat airings, nearly 4 million viewers saw the premiere, a 29 percent bump from the cumulative total a year ago.
The show's numbers increased most dramatically ...