Latest 'Chef' bow: well done again

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Bravo's "Top Chef" continued its streak of record-breaking premieres Wednesday night with the Season 5 debut hitting an all-time ratings high.

The premiere of the New York edition was seen by 2.7 million viewers and earned a 1.4 rating among adults 18-49. That's up 19% among total viewers and 27% in the demo compared with March's Season 4 Chicago opener.

At a time when every show on broadcast is suffering year-over-year declines, the snappily edited cooking competition series has managed to grow every cycle.

On broadcast, ABC won the night with the 42nd annual Country Music Awards. The CMAs were seen by 15.9 million viewers and earned a 5.0 adults 18-49 rating and a 13 share, beating broadcast competitors during all three hours of the telecast.

The CMAs were down 7% year-over-year in the adult demo and marked an all-time low for the show. But the year-over-year decline was relatively shallow.

CBS and Fox tied for second, with CBS' comedy hour showing little change with "The New Adventures of Old Christine" (6.8 million, 2.0/6) and "Gary Unmarried" (6.6 million, 2.1/5). "Criminal Minds" (14.8 million, 3.8/10) was up 9% from last week to place second in the hour, though 10 p.m.'s "CSI: NY" (11.6 million, 3.0/8) fell 9%.

Fox aired "Bones" (10.9 million, 3.5/9) — which was up 6% and a hit a season high — and a repeat.

The second week of NBC's new crime block sunk slightly. "Knight Rider" (5.3 million, 1.5/4) was down a tenth to hit a new low and place fifth in the hour. "Life" (5.8 million, 1.8/5) fell 10%.
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