Morning Ratings Flash - Rick Kissell

NBC comedy “My Name is Earl” opened to impressive ratings Tuesday, standing as the top-rated series among young adults and bowing to the best demo scores for any Tuesday premiere on any net in three years. The Peacock won the night in adults 18-49 and other key categories.

According to preliminary nationals from Nielsen, “My Name is Earl” averaged a big 6.4 rating/16 share in adults 18-49 and 14.9 million viewers overall, easily leading a 9 o’clock hour that included Fox drama “House” and ABC’s special “Dancing With the Stars: Dance-Off.” This is the best showing for an NBC comedy in the timeslot since an episode of “Frasier” in November 2002.

The Peacock fell off at 9:30 with the second-season preem of “The Office” (second-place 4.3/10 in 18-49, 9.2 million viewers overall) but this repped the show’s best regular-slot scores to date. NBC was also in a tight battle for first in 18-49 at 8 with “The Biggest Loser” (3.4/10 in 18-49, 7.9 million viewers overall) and won comfortably at 10 with the season preem of “Law & Order: SVU” (5.4/14 in 18-49, 16.4 million viewers overall).

Fox ran second on the night in 18-49, paced by “House” (4.8/12 in 18-49, 13.5 million viewers overall), which was down some from its big season preem of a week earlier. Similarly, 8 o’clock drama “Bones” was off (3.0/9 in 18-49, 7.3 million viewers overall) but still looked solid opposite increased competition.

CBS got a strong opening result from third-year drama “NCIS” (3.5/10 in 18-49, 14.7 million viewers overall), which led its hour in 18-49, 25-54 and total viewers with its best season-preem scores yet. The Eye was also looking good at 10 with the finale of summer series “Rock Star” (series-best 3.9/10 in 18-49, 7.9 million viewers overall) but the finale of “Big Brother 6″ (3.2/8 in 18-49, 8.5 million viewers overall) was soft.

ABC had a disappointing night, with “According to Jim” placing fourth at 8 (2.4/7 in 18-49, 7.9 million viewers overall) and the “Dance-Off” spec failing to stir up much excitement among young adults (2.8/7 in 18-49, 10.8 million viewers overall).

UPN’s finale of “R U The Girl” hit series highs (2.0/5 in 18-49, 4.1 million viewers overall), the best scores for the net in the 9 o’clock hour since last November.

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: NBC, 4.7/12; Fox, 3.9/10; CBS, 3.5/9; ABC, 2.6/7; WB, 2.3/6; UPN, 1.7/5.

In total viewers: NBC, 12.1 million; Fox, 10.4 million; CBS, 10.3 million; ABC, 9.0 million; WB, 5.2 million; UPN, 3.6 million.

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