- Share this article on Facebook
- Share this article on Twitter
- Share this article on Email
- Show additional share options
- Share this article on Print
- Share this article on Comment
- Share this article on Whatsapp
- Share this article on Linkedin
- Share this article on Reddit
- Share this article on Pinit
- Share this article on Tumblr
“NCIS” returned to its highest ratings ever, with new spinoff “NCIS: Los Angeles” drawing a huge opening number and freshman procedural “The Good Wife” also launching strong.
Broadcast erosion be damned: CBS had its most-watched premiere week Tuesday since 1993.
The second day of the broadcast season was marked by an unusual quartet of two-hourblocks: Two hours of NBC’s “The Biggest Loser” vs. two hours of ABC’s”Dancing With the Stars” vs. two hours of Fox’s “Hell’s Kitchen”against two hours of CBS’ “NCIS” (well, “NCIS” and its spinoff).
Starting off the night for CBS, the original “NCIS” (20.6 million viewers, 4.8 national adults 18-49 rating) returned huge — up 33% in the demo, though its total viewer number is particularly jaw dropping. This a series high for “NCIS” — which is in its seventh year.
Then “NCIS: LA” (18.7 million, 4.4), starring Chris O’Donnell and LL Cool J, lost only 8% of its lead in. Also, the spinoff climbed 26% in its time period compared to the debut of “The Mentalist” last year.
Julianna Margulies in “The Good Wife” (13.7 million, 3.1) slipped considerably from its lead in, 30%, yet dominated 10 p.m. and pulled an 11% higher number than last year’s “Without a Trace” premiere in the slot. “Good Wife” also beat ABC’s premiere of Christian Slater’s “The Forgotten” (9.5 million, 2.6).
“The Good Wife” pilot (clip below) gained positive reviews from the critics, while “NCIS: Los Angeles” received mixed-to-positive reviews. “The Forgotten” was panned, though some felt the show had promise. All three shows had slight declines from their first half hour to their second, with “Los Angeles” dropping the least and “Forgotten” falling the most. (“Good Wife” key art poster graded; “NCIS: LA” poster graded).
Another surprise was “Hell’s Kitchen” (6.8 million, 3.2). Fox edged out a narrow second-place finish in the adult demo for the evening, with cooking competition seemingly unfazed against sharply increased competition.
In third, ABC aired “Dancing With the Stars” (15.4 million, 3.5), down 26% from the same night last year and dropping 15% from Tuesday’s opener. Among the two-hour-block-battle, ABC placed second in viewers and the demo. Though outshone by “Good Wife,” “The Forgotten” still rated higher than ABC shows usually perform in this slot.
NBC’s “Biggest Loser” (7.6 million, 3.1) fell 18% from last week, yet boosted “The Jay Leno Show” (6.9 million, 2.5) from its Monday number. Though down from last week, “Leno Show” demonstrated once again that a strong lead in can bring the weeknight series into a competitive trading range. The talk show came within a tenth of matching the premiere of “The Forgotten,” which surely pleased NBC executives. There’s a fair chance “Leno Show” will end up in second place at 10 p.m. next week (“beaten by Leno” could become the network executive version of a schoolyard taunt).
On The CW, “Melrose Place” (1.4 million, 0.8) better get Heather Locklear on the set fast. The show fell 20%. Lead in “90210” (2 million, 1.0) slipped slightly too.
Sign up for THR news straight to your inbox every day