‘Friday’ is guy night

Few femmes for NBC bow

NBC’s “Friday Night Lights” opened to modest ratings Tuesday night, scoring with young men but unable to draw enough women to make it a success out of the box.

Football-themed skein, which garnered some of the best reviews of any new program this fall, ran third in its slot on a night when the Peacock was neck and neck with ABC for the demo lead. CBS rookie “Smith,” meanwhile, lost some ground despite stronger perfs by the net’s other dramas.

According to Nielsen nationals, “Friday Night Lights” averaged a 2.7 rating/8 share in adults 18-49 and 7.17 million viewers overall from 8 to 9 p.m., placing behind ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars” and CBS’ “NCIS.”

Show won its hour in men 18-34 (2.6/10) but ran third in all key female demos. In 18-49, it came in about 15% below what unscripted contest “The Biggest Loser” logged in the timeslot a year ago.

NBC has been promoting the show during “Sunday Night Football” and will look to recruit more young adults, especially femmes, in coming weeks.

Siphoning off a lot of the female aud on Tuesday was ABC’s “Dancing” (5.2/14 in 18-49, 18.38m), which led from 8 to 9:30 p.m. in key demos and was on par with recent perfs. With Fox’s “House” sidelined for baseball, the Eye’s “NCIS” also looked good, taking advantage to deliver season highs (4.0/12, 15.89m).

It was a tight battle for the drama lead at 9 between NBC’s “Law & Order: CI” (4.2/11, 12.18m) and CBS’ “The Unit” (4.1/11, 13.22m), with the latter also at a season high. And at 9:30, ABC laffer “Help Me Help You” (3.0/8, 10.08m) dipped 14% from its premiere, placing fourth in 18-49.

In the night’s closing hour, NBC’s “Law & Order: SVU” (5.3/14 in 18-49, 14.30m) won out as usual, with ABC’s “Boston Legal” moving into second (2.9/8, 10.59m) ahead of CBS’ “Smith” (2.8/8, 8.38m). Latter logged its lowest score in three tries this fall, down 15% in 18-49 from “Close to Home” in the time period last year.

At Fox, the opening night of postseason baseball settled for a 2.7/8 in 18-49 and 8.36 million viewers overall for the New York Yankees-Detroit Tigers game — down 21% from last year’s comparable opener.

The CW’s “Veronica Mars” opened with solid numbers (1.4/4, 3.36m), while “Gilmore Girls” (1.9/6, 4.62m) was on par with its week-earlier preem but down from its score on the WB last season. “Veronica” matched its year-ago preem scores, retaining 77% of its 18-34 “Gilmore” lead-in (1.7/5 vs. 2.2/7).

For the night, ABC and NBC tied in adults 18-49 (4.1/11), with the Alphabet winning easily in total viewers (14.4 million).

Ratings chart for the week of Sept. 25 – Oct. 1

ADULTS 18-49

1. Grey’s Anatomy (ABC) 9.5/23
2. Desperate Housewives (ABC) 8.6/20
3. CSI (CBS) 8.0/19
4. Sunday Night Football (NBC) 6.7/17
5. ER (NBC) 6.1/17
5. House (Fox) 6.1/17
7. Monday Night Football (ESPN) 6.0/17
8. Survivor (CBS) 5.9/16
8. Heroes (NBC) 5.9/14
10. CSI: Miami (CBS) 5.8/15
11. Extreme… Home Edition (ABC) 5.7/14
12. Brothers & Sisters (ABC) 5.3/13
13. Dancing With the Stars (ABC) 5.2/14
13. CSI: NY (CBS) 5.2/14
14. 20/20 special-Wed. (ABC) 5.2/14
15. Law & Order: SVU (NBC) 5.0/14
16. Ugly Betty (ABC) 5.0/14
18. Criminal Minds (CBS) 4.9/13
19. Two and a Half Men (CBS 4.8/12
20. Without a Trace (CBS) 4.4/12
21. Studio 60 (NBC) 4.2/11
21. Shark (CBS) 4.2/11
23. Dancing With the Stars results (ABC) 4.1/12
23. Six Degrees (ABC) 4.1/11
25. Amazing Race (CBS) 4.0/09
PERSONS 12-34

1. Grey’s Anatomy (ABC) 7.7/22
2. Desperate Housewives (ABC) 6.7/18
3. House (Fox) 5.2/17
3. CSI (CBS) 5.2/15
5. Sunday Night Football (NBC) 5.1/15
TOP CABLE NETS :

18-49 Total viewers (rank)
1. ESPN 1.38 3.54 million (1)
2. USA 0.80 2.47 million (2)
3. TNT 0.59 1.81 million (3)
3. FX 0.59 1.31 million (6)
5. TBS 0.50 1.17 million (9)
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