‘King’ zings new night but ‘Costello’ stumbles

'Shoot Me' hits bull's-eye while 'City' is still building

The initial Tuesday try for a firstrun “King of the Hill” on Fox has generated promising Nielsens, but premiering schedule mate “Costello,” as expected, is having trouble fitting into that schedule.

Also in Sept. 15 results, NBC’s “Just Shoot Me” was on target with its first airing in the key 9-9:30 p.m. half-hour, winning the slot by 1 share in adults 18-49 and besting slot-rival sitcom “Spin City” by 4 shares.

“King of the Hill” (7.0 rating, 12 share in homes, 5.5/18 in adults 18-49) won its time period by 3 shares in the 18-49 demo but trailed ABC’s “Home Improvement” rerun (8.0/14 in homes, 4.6/15 in adults 18-49) in households.

The premiere of “Costello” (5.7/10 in homes, 4.5/13 in adults 18-49) won its half-hour in the 18-49 demo but spilled 18% of its lead-in from “King,” not a good sign given the slot’s all-rerun competition.

NBC toughened the task a bit by running a second “Mad About You” at 8:30 (6.7/11 in homes, 4.2/12 in adults 18-49) and soaring 40% above what the 8 p.m. “Mad” managed in adults 18-49.

The best news for NBC came at 9 p.m., where a rerun “Just Shoot Me” (8.2/13 in homes, 5.4/15 in adults 18-49) made itself at home in its new fall timeslot, equaling the best 18-49 share from slot predecessor “Frasier” in the last seven weeks. “Shoot” won the half-hour in homes and most key demos, edging Fox’s firstrun “Guinness World Records” (7.3/12 and 5.1/14).

ABC’s 9 p.m. entry, “Spin City” (8.2/13 in homes, 3.9/11 in adults 18-49) has work to do but is making progress since a poor start in that slot July 21.

Fox is switching “King of the Hill” to Tuesdays this fall in perhaps the most aggressive move of the new season. Compared with its year-ago premiere numbers in Sunday’s cozy “Simpsons”-“X-Files” hammock, “King” slipped by 48% in homes and 35% in adults 18-49, but vs. what Fox averaged in the slot last season, “King” was up a stellar 45% in adults 18-49 and 11% in homes.

With its firstrun slate facing mostly rerun competition, Fox led Tuesday in adults 18-49, beating NBC by 1 share, while the Peacock edged CBS’ combo of “JAG” and “The People Next Door” in households.

Each household rating point represents an estimated 994,000 homes, or 1% of the country’s TV households. Each adults 18-49 rating point reps 1.239 million viewers, 1% of the U.S. total. A share is the same sort of percentage, except it measures only the homes or viewers watching TV during the timeslot involved.

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