Shows stop the bleeding
Ratings tumble subsides as Fox, CBS top Tues.Stability was the main theme Tuesday night as several fall shows managed to halt their postpremiere ratings drops, relieving networks by matching last week's numbers. Nearly every program was within a couple tenths of a ratings point of its previous airing — even CBS' drama lineup that debuted last week.
Fox won the night with "House" (13 million viewers, 5.4 national adults 18-49 rating and a 15 share) and "Fringe" (9.9 million, 4.2/11). Both grew slightly, with "House" the highest-rated show of the night.
CBS and NBC tied for second, with CBS showing impressive resilience with a lineup that's only a week out of the gate. "NCIS" (17.5 million, 3.5/10) retained almost all of last week's premiere growth and helped CBS win the night among total viewers. New drama "The Mentalist" (15.5 million, 3.6/9) grew a tenth from its premiere rating and is beginning to look like a contender for a full-season order. "Without a Trace" (12.6 million, 2.7/8) fell a tenth.
NBC's "The Biggest Loser" (7.4 million, 2.9/8) and "Law & Order: SVU" (10.4 million, 3.7/10) dropped a tenth.
ABC's "Opportunity Knocks" (6 million, 1.8/5) maintained its premiere rating. The "Dancing With the Stars" (15.5 million, 3.7/9) results show was the major exception to the night's stability theme, dropping 21% from last week's two-hour edition. A 10 p.m. special, "Half Their Size: The People Magazine Weight Loss Challenge" (4.9 million, 1.6/5) finished in last place in the hour.
On the CW, "90210" (3.2 million, 1.7/5) and "Privileged" (1.9 million, 0.9/2) both grew a notch, with "90210" gaining three tenths in the CW's 18-34 demographic. (partialdiff)