Fox, CBS head up Tuesday night

'Fringe,' 'Mentalist' ahead in ratings race

Fox and CBS again saw good results for their new Tuesday dramas “Fringe” and “The Mentalist,” respectably, taking advantage of their potent lead-ins. It was a sluggish start, meanwhile, for ABC’s sophomore drama “Eli Stone.”

According to preliminary live plus same-day Nielsen estimates, Fox’s “House” (5.1 rating/14 share in adults 18-49, 12.8 million viewers overall) was the night’s top-rated program among young adults, though it remains well off its year-ago pace when it aired an hour later. And coming out of “House,” freshman drama “Fringe” (4.1/10 in 18-49, 9.5 million viewers overall) again retained a healthy percentage of its lead-in to rank second for the night in 18-49.

At CBS, the highest-rated demo performance in nearly a year for “NCIS” kicked off the night (3.8/11 in 18-49, 17.9 million viewers overall), with the military crime drama standing as Tuesday’s most-watched program overall. It helped provide a strong lead-in for “The Mentalist” (3.4/8 in 18-49, 14.9 million viewers overall), the first-year drama that ran second in 18-49 and first for its hour in 25-54 and total viewers for a second straight airing. The Eye then fell off at 10 with “Without a Trace” (2.5/7 in 18-49, 11.0 million viewers overall).

ABC opened meekly with “Opportunity Knocks” (1.3/4 in 18-49, 5.3 million viewers overall) and then moved up at 9 o’clock with the “Dancing With the Stars” results show (3.2/8 in 18-49, 14.4 million viewers overall), although it delivered perhaps its lowest score to date. And at 10, the second-season premiere of “Eli Stone” (2.2/6 in 18-49, 8.8 million viewers overall) ran third among the broadcast nets.

NBC was solid with a two-hour “Biggest Loser” (3.0/8 in 18-49, 7.5 million viewers overall) and “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” (3.7/10 in 18-49, 9.4 million viewers overall), with the latter winning at 10 o’clock in key demos despite year-to-year declines.

CW aired repeats of “90210” (0.8/2 in 18-49, 1.8 million viewers overall) and “Privileged” (0.6/1 in 18-49, 1.2 million viewers overall).

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: Fox, 4.6/12; NBC, 3.3/9; CBS, 3.2/9; ABC, 2.2/6; Univision, 1.6/4; CW, 0.7/2.

In total viewers: CBS, 14.6 million; Fox, 11.2 million; ABC, 9.5 million; NBC, 8.1 million; Univision, 4.2 million; CW, 1.5 million.

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