'Pushing Daisies' debuts strong for ABC

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NEW YORK -- "Pushing Daisies" bloomed for ABC while NBC's "Bionic Woman" -- and ABC's "Private Practice" -- didn't look as strong in their second outings against CBS's "Criminal Minds."

The critical favorite debuted strongly and averaged 12.8 million viewers and a 4.2 rating/12 share in the adults 18-49 demographic to win both measures at 8 p.m. Wednesday, according to preliminary estimates released Thursday by Nielsen Media Research.

While ABC continued its streak at 9 p.m. with the second episode of "Private Practice" (12.3 million, 4.5/11), all was not well with it nor "Bionic Woman" (10.9 million, 4.0/10). Both shows showed declines from last week's premieres, "Private Practice" down 13% in adults 18-49 and "Bionic Woman" falling 30% in the demo.

"Private Practice" was still the night's top show in the demo but another winner had to be CBS's "Criminal Minds" (14.4 million,, 3.7/9), which was up 6% week-to-week in adults 18-49 and reclaimed the top spot in viewership. But "Criminal Minds" was still down 23% compared to last year's telecast, no doubt thanks to increased competition in the time period.

CBS showed improvements week-to-week for the second straight night, thanks as well to "CSI: NY" (12.7 million, 3.9/10) that was up 5% in adults 18-49 week-to-week and won key measures at 10 p.m. when it didn't last week. "CSI: NY" was also down 25% from last year's episode.

Also at 10 p.m., ABC held steady week-to-week with "Dirty Sexy Money" (9.7 million, 3.6/10) while NBC's "Life" (8.8 million, 3.0/8) started to lose a little of it by dropping 25% compared to last week.

"Pushing Daisies" touched its 8 p.m. competition, with "Kid Nation" (7.5 million, 2.4/7) was down from last week's 2.8/8 (as well as its premiere 3.1/9) and "Back To You" (6.6 million, 2.4/7) falling from last week's 2.8/9. "Til Death" (6.2 million, 2.5/7) was up 4% in adults 18-49 week-to-week as was NBC's "Deal or No Deal" (11.1 million, 2.8/8). Fox's "Kitchen Nightmares" (6.3 million, 2.9/7) was also up week-to-week against tough competition. The CW's "America's Next Top Model" (4.5 million, 2.2/6) was down while "Gossip Girl" (2.8 million, 1.3/3) remained even.

ABC (11.6 million, 4.1/11) led the way in both measures followed by CBS (11.5 million, 3.4/9); NBC (10.3 million, 3.3/9); Fox (6.3 million, 2.7/7) and The CW (3.6 million, 1.7/5).
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