NCIS by Cliff Lipson/CBS NCIS by Cliff Lipson/CBS

With nearly all the players now on the field, here's how Tuesday's numbers panned out:

8 pm/ET
NCIS returned to 17.7 million total viewers, a 30 percent increase from its previous premiere and the military drama's most-watched season opener ever. House placed second with 12.2 million (down 16 percent week-to-week), but topped the demos. Biggest Loser (7.18 million) lost 615 thou, followed by the debut of ABC's Opportunity Knocks (6.6 million). The CW's 90210 dipped 11 percent, to just under 3 million.

9 pm
Dancing with the Stars dominated, averaging 18.2 million over its two-hour run. Coming in an impressive second, though, was CBS' The Mentalist, which debuted to 15.55 million. Fringe was No. 2 in demos for the hour, but dropped 27 percent of its Week 2 audience. Privileged slipped 568K, to 1.86 million. A shame.

10 pm
Trailing DWTS' second hour, Without a Trace opened its season with 11.38 million viewers, a 31 percent drop from last year (when it premiered on a Thursday). SVU (9.5 mil) likewise took a hit, to the tune of 21 percent from its 2007 opener. - Matt Mitovich

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