Tuesday's two-hour edition of Dancing with the Stars, watched by an average of 18.1 million total viewers, gave ABC easy wins in the 8 and 9 pm hours, first besting new episodes of House (13.4 mil) and NCIS (13.1 mil, a 16 percent drop from last year's premiere), as well as NBC's own juggernaut, Deal or No Deal (10.7 mil), then surpassing CBS' The Unit (12.1 million viewers), Law & Order: CI (returning to an audience of 11.6 mil), and Standoff, which hit a series low with 7.9 mil.

The 10 o'clock title went to Law & Order: SVU, whose season premiere was watched by 14.4 million, versus Boston Legal's 11.6 mil and newbie Smith's 10.7 mil. Despite placing third in its bow, CBS' Ray Liotta starter is considered to have opened strongly, retaining 88 percent of The Unit's total audience.