NBC has tough week as Fox wins again

Peacock's new shows 'Kings,' 'Block' see weak starts

NBC took a double punch in the ratings last week as two of its new shows opened to modest numbers.

The debuts of Sunday night drama "Kings" and Wednesday cooking competition "Chopping Block" underline how a fourth-place position makes its difficult to bring an audience to a new show. With the network turning its 10 p.m. hour over to Jay Leno's talk show next fall, the premieres could hint as to how new programs might be received.

Of course, the issue also could be the shows themselves. Critics hacked apart "Chopping Block" (3.8 million viewers, 1.4 adults 18-49 rating and 4 share). Meanwhile, the alternative universe setting of "Kings" (6.1 million, 1.6/4) has made the concept a tricky pitch on a night when the network has struggled to gain momentum.

NBC's week was also highlighted by the return of several original cast members to Thursday's "ER" (10.9 million, 4.0/11), bumping the ratings to the show's highest in two years, and the softening of Sunday's "Apprentice" (6.8 million, 2.8/7).

Fox won the week as usual, though top-rated drama "House" (12.4 million, 4.8/13) hit a four-year low Monday against ABC's hugely rated "Dancing With the Stars" (22.8 million, 6.1/15) premiere. "Dancing" had its biggest premiere audience in five years, while new mystery drama "Castle" (10.8 million, 3.0/8) had a solid debut at 10 p.m.

Fox's "American Idol" (Tuesday: 25.8 million, 9.5/25) perked up this week, however, with Tuesday and Wednesday's episodes demonstrating clear gains. Plus, Friday night's "Dollhouse" (4.3 million, 1.6/5) ceased its weekly erosion and climbed slightly in the ratings for the first time.

CBS placed second in the demo, delivering 10 of the 15 most-watched shows of the week. The network's "Survivor" (12.8 million, 4.1/12) bounced back up with "Idol" vacating Thursday night, but "CSI" (17.1 million, 4.2/11) tied its lifetime low. In third, ABC's "Grey's Anatomy" (13.6 million, 5.0/12) and "Private Practice" (8.6 million, 3.3/9) continued to perform strong. Fifth-place the CW saw the second week of "America's Next Top Model" (4.5 million, 1.9/6) rise a bit.
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