'Heroes' saves night for NBC1


NEW YORK -- "Heroes" might turn out to be just that for NBC, with the new drama premiering strongly and leading the peacock to a nightly win in the demo even as "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip" and "Deal or No Deal" fell from their premieres last week.

Meanwhile, the CW had a rocky premiere for its first original series, the 9 p.m. drama "Runaway," which drew a barely-there 2.2 million viewers and 0.8 rating/2 share in its target adults 18-34 demographic, according to Nielsen Media Research. At 8 p.m., the 11th-season premiere of "7th Heaven" (4.2 million, 1.7/5 in 18-34) got off to a slow start on its new network, dropping more than 1 million viewers from last fall's opener on WB Network.

At 9 p.m., "Heroes" delivered 14.1 million viewers and a 5.9/14 in the adults 18-49 demo. While it was beaten in viewers during the hour by CBS' 9 p.m. comedy "Two and a Half Men" (15.3 million, 4.8/12), "Heroes" built on its 8 p.m. "Deal or No Deal" lead-in (13 million, 3.8/10) by more than 1 million viewers and two rating points. "Heroes" finished the night a nose ahead of CBS' 10 p.m. stalwart "CSI: Miami" (17.8 million, 5.8/15) in the demo, though "CSI" prevailed in total viewers.

More troublesome for CBS was the start of the night, with new 8 p.m. comedy "The Class" (8.5 million, 2.9/8) falling 2 million viewers and 19% in adults 18-49 in its second airing. At 8:30 p.m., "How I Met Your Mother" (9.1 million, 3.4/9) upticked slightly but was still down from last week's sophomore-season premiere.

Fox had a hard time getting started at 8 p.m. with "Prison Break" (8.4 million, 3.4/9), and things did not improve at 9 p.m. against the heat of "Heroes" for Fox's freshman drama "Vanished" (6.5 million, 2.1/5).

ABC had a ho-hum night all around, with a double shot of "Wife Swap" and a 10 p.m. repeat of "Men in Trees" adding up to a nightly average of 6.4 million viewers and a 2.7/7 in the demo.

Despite the boost from "Heroes," NBC's "Studio 60" (10.8 million, 4.2/11) dropped nearly 3 million viewers and 16% in adults 18-49 from its premiere last week. Still, NBC notched its second consecutive Monday win in adults 18-49 (NBC's 4.7/12 vs. CBS' 4.4/11), while CBS was No. 1 in total viewers (CBS' 13.4 million vs. NBC's 12.6 million).