ABC travels 'October Road' to Thurs. win

NBC's "Andy Barker, PI" and "Raines" fail to impress

NEW YORK -- "October Road" got a strong start on its journey following "Grey's Anatomy," leading ABC to a primetime win while the premieres of NBC's "Andy Barker, PI" and "Raines" failed to impress.

Meanwhile, "Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader" was greatly diminished from its earlier run following "American Idol" but still won its 8 p.m. time period against NCAA basketball, a new "Ugly Betty" and a repurposed "Office."

"October Road" averaged 14.3 million viewers and a 5.8 rating/16 share in the adults 18-49 demographic, according to preliminary estimates released Friday by Nielsen Media Research. It fell from 15.3 million viewers and a 6.2/17 at 10 p.m. to 13.4 million and a 5.3/15 at 10:30 p.m., although it still easily won the time period.

Not so with either of NBC's premieres, "Andy Barker, PI" (5.4 million, 2.4/6) at 9:30 p.m. nor the cop drama "Raines" (10.3 million, 2.9/8). "Andy Barker" tied with a repeat of "Family Guy" (5.4 million, 2.4/6) for fourth place in the time period. It lost steam from its lead-in, a new "Scrubs" (6.4 million, 2.8/7). "Raines" was in third place at 10 p.m. against "October Road" and the opening round of NCAA men's basketball.

"Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?" (12.2 million, 4.5/13) won at 8 p.m. in viewers and adults 18-49 although it was nothing near the sky-high opening weeks when it followed "American Idol." But it was still enough to beat "Ugly Betty" (10.8 million, 3.4/10) as well as an hourlong "The Office" (6.6 million, 2.8/8) that was mostly a repeat with some previously unaired material.

"Grey's Anatomy" (22.4 million, 8.8/22) won its time period and was the night's top show in viewership and adults 18-49.

Early-round telecasts of CBS's "March Madness" averaged an estimated 9.6 million viewers, although it won't be until later when full ratings are available.

Nightly averages: ABC (15.8 million, 6.0/16); CBS (9.6 million, 3.5/9); NBC (7.7 million, 2.7/7); Fox (9 million, 3.5/9); and The CW (4.1 million, 1.7/5).