'Blue Bloods' opens strong, crushes 'Outlaw'

'CSI: NY' drops 50% from '09 premiere

Blue Bloods -- TV Review
Outlaw -- TV Review

CBS' latest cop show "Blue Bloods" may have been saddled with one of the toughest time periods on TV, but that didn't stop the Tom Selleck drama from a strong opening that led the night in the ratings.

"Blue" (12.8 million viewers, 2.2 preliminary adults 18-49) was up 22% from the debut of "Numbers" in the time period last year.

The show also improved upon its lead-in -- a newly displaced "CSI: NY" (10.3 million, 2.0). The switch from Wednesdays to Fridays was hard on the veteran procedural, which dropped 50% from its premiere last fall. "NY" was nearly even with last year's opening of "Medium" in the slot, though did win the hour. The return of "Medium" (6.1 million, 1.4) kicked things off, down 33% from its 9 p.m. premiere last year and off 39% from "Ghost Whisperer" in the slot.

Overall, CBS won the night, while receiving mixed news: Freshman drama "Blue Bloods" successfully opened, but returning shows posted declines.

"Blue" also crushed NBC's "Outlaw" (5 million, 1.1) at 10 p.m., falling 52% from its Wednesday preview. "Outlaw" joins Fox's "Lone Star" and ABC's "The Whole Truth" and "My Generation" as premiere week insta-bubble shows. NBC's two-hour "Dateline" (7.2 million, 1.6) served as lead-in and was up slightly from last year, plus a considerable improvement upon "Law & Order" in the slot.

Over on Fox, "The Good Guys" (0.9) made its time-period debut, predictably down 40% from its Wednesday premiere back in May and down 10% from "Dollhouse" in the slot.

The CW had the final season return of "Smallville" (2.9 million, 1.3) as well as the premiere of "Supernatural" (2.8 million, 1.2). Both shows performed really well, with "Smallville" up 30% from last year -- the only returning CW show to actually climb in the adult demo for its premiere. "Smallville" also posted the highest rating for CW in this time period in two years, while "Supernatural" was down a very manageable 14% from its Thursday debut.

In fact, The CW came in third place -- beating Fox and ABC -- which is something you don't see hardly, well, ever.

In addition to getting some extra sampling for "Modern Family," "Better With You" and "The Whole Truth," ABC aired "20/20" (5.4 million, 1.5), down 21%.