Morning Ratings Flash - Rick Kissell

NBC’s “Heroes” is looking like the fall’s hottest new show after winning its time period Monday in key demos for a third straight week and matching its strong premiere score of two weeks ago, according to preliminary affiliate-based nationals from Nielsen.

After “Deal or No Deal” delivered stronger than usual numbers to open the night for NBC (4.4/12 in 18-49, 15.2 million viewers overall), “Heroes” (5.9/14 in 18-49, 13.3 million viewers overall) beat all of its broadcast rivals and notched the highest demo rating for any rookie series in the past two weeks. Net’s momentum on the night also transferred to 10 o’clock, where “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip” (3.8/9 in 18-49, 8.8 million viewers overall) was up 12% week to week.

Numbers for CBS are likely to come down in nationals as they include football on its Baltimore and Denver stations, but prelims showed encouraging news for the net’s flip of opening-hour laffers “How I Met Your Mother” (3.6/10 in 18-49, 9.7 million viewers overall) and “The Class” (3.7/9 in 18-49, 10.1 million viewers overall). Also, “Two and a Half Men” (5.4/13 in 18-49, 17.1 million viewers overall), “Old Christine” (4.3/10 in 18-49, 13.7 million viewers overall) and “CSI: Miami” (5.9/15 in 18-49, 17.9 million viewers overall) figure to come in about where they have performed recently.

ABC got similarly OK but nothing special results from all three of its femme-focused skeins: “Wife Swap” (3.2/9 in 18-49, 7.7 million viewers overall), “The Bachelor” (3.1/7 in 18-49, 8.0 million viewers overall) and “What About Brian” (3.0/8 in 18-49, 7.0 million viewers overall). Latter was on par with its year ago average with its second-season premiere.

Fox, with baseball playoff series ending early, suffered through low-rated repeats of “Prison Break” (1.4/4 in 18-49, 4.0 million viewers overall) and “Justice” (1.2/3 in 18-49, 3.6 million viewers overall), with the latter airing on its new night for the first time.

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: CBS, 4.8/12; NBC, 4.7/12; ABC, 3.1/8; Fox, 1.3/3; CW, 1.0/3.

In total viewers: CBS, 14.4 million; NBC, 12.4 million; ABC, 7.6 million; Fox, 3.8 million; CW, 2.6 million.

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