Morning Ratings Flash - Rick Kissell

ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars,” perhaps benefiting from the controversy surrounding the departure of country singer Sara Evans, achieved season highs Tuesday in helping the net win in key demos.

According to preliminary Nielsen averages, “Dancing With the Stars” dominated its 8-9:30 time period with a 5.9 rating/16 share in adults 18-49 and 21.1 million viewers overall, rising 5% week to week and the best non-finale demo score to date for the unscripted contest. Laffer “Help Me Help You” was also slightly on the rise week to week (3.3/8 in 18-49, 10.9 million viewers overall), and the Alphabet closed out its winning night with the best in-season results since March for “Boston Legal” (3.3/9 in 18-49, 10.9 million viewers overall). 

At NBC, rookie drama “Friday Night Lights” (2.7/7 in 18-49, 6.6 million viewers overall) rebounded from its soft week-two score to match its premiere result of two weeks ago, although it remained fourth in its hour. “Law & Order: Criminal Intent” (3.7/9 in 18-49, 10.9 million viewers overall) and “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” (4.8/13 in 18-49, 12.8 million viewers overall) were on par with last week.

Prelims are fuzzy for Fox’s baseball game between the St. Louis Cardinals and New York Mets, but the net’s affils averaged a 3.4/9 in adults 18-49 and 10.3 million viewers overall from 8 to 11. Nationals are expected to rise, giving the game a good shot to match or top the result for the fifth game of last year’s National League Championship Series (on a Monday).

CBS was also in line with recent weeks, paced by “NCIS” (3.8/10 in 18-49, 15.8 million viewers overall) and “The Unit” (3.7/9 in 18-49, 12.8 million viewers overall), while the CW’s combo of “Gilmore Girls” (2.0/5 in 18-49, 4.8 million viewers overall) and “Veronica Mars” (1.4/4 in 18-49, 3.2 million viewers overall) achieved a season high in adults 18-34 (2.1/6).

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: ABC, 4.6/12; NBC, 3.8/10; CBS, 2.6/9; Fox, 3.4/9; CW, 1.7/4.

In total viewers: ABC, 16.0 million; CBS, 13.0 million; Fox, 10.3 million; NBC, 10.1 million, CW, 4.0 million.

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