'Private Practice' caps winning night for net

A strong performance by the returning “Private Practice” capped a winning night for ABC on Thursday, as the net prevailed in key demos over a solid CBS. Also, the Alphabet’s “FlashForward” held up well in its second outing and “Grey’s Anatomy” was the No. 1 show in young adults.

According to preliminary nationals from Nielsen, “FlashForward” kicked off Thursday with more good scores (3.7 rating/11 share in adults 18-49, 10.8 million viewers overall), declining just 8% in the demo from its potent premiere and finishing in a virtual draw with CBS vet “Survivor” (4.0/10 in 18-49, 15.6 million viewers overall); while the new drama won in 18-34, “Survivor” pulled ahead in 25-54 and total viewers.

At 9 p.m., “Grey’s Anatomy” (6.0/15 in 18-49, 15.4 million viewers overall) dipped 10% from its big premiere and won in all key demos over tough CBS vet “CSI” (4.0/10 in 18-49, 15.6 million viewers overall), which held the edge in total viewers and was in line with its season-opening performance. While “CSI” was down vs. its second episode of last season, “Grey’s” was up and figures to stand as the week’s No. 1 entertainment series in 18-49.

And the drama battle between ABC and CBS continued at 10 p.m., where the third-season premiere of the Alphabet’s “Private Practice” (4.5/13 in 18-49, 11.5 million viewers overall) won in demos over the Eye’s “The Mentalist” (3.7/10 in 18-49, 15.2 million viewers overall), which was a solid second in both 18-49 and 25-54 while dominating in total viewers. For “Practice,” this repped its best numbers since a crossover episode with “Grey’s Anatomy” in February. 

Elsewhere, third-place Fox was led by “Bones” (2.6/8 in 18-49, 9.0 million viewers overall), which dipped a bit week to week, while “Fringe” matched its score of the previous week, placing fourth in the tough 9 o’clock hour (2.3/6 in 18-49, 6.2 million viewers overall). Fox continues to perform ahead of last fall’s Thursday average.

And NBC’s opening-hour half-hours “SNL Weekend Update Thursday” (1.8/5 in 18-49, 5.1 million viewers overall) and “Parks and Recreation” (1.9/5 in 18-49, 4.6 million viewers overall) both edged upward but remained deep in fourth place. Net’s best numbers continue to come at 9 p.m. with “The Office” (3.7/10 in 18-49, 7.3 million viewers overall), which was off slightly week to week, and at 9:30 with “Community” (2.9/7 in 18-49, 5.8 million viewers overall), which was on the rise and looked a bit healthier relative to its lead-in.

NBC was not a factor at 10 p.m. with “The Jay Leno Show” (1.6/4 in 18-49, 5.0 million viewers overall), which matched its series low.

CW’s “Vampire Diaries” (1.6/5 in 18-49, 3.5 million viewers overall) was in line with its recent performances, placing second in the 8 o’clock hour among women 18-34 (2.7/8). And “Supernatural” (1.2/3 in 18-49, 2.6 million viewers overall) held steady as well.

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: ABC, 4.7/13; CBS, 3.8/11; Fox, 2.5/7; NBC, 2.2/6; Univision, 1.6/5; CW, 1.4/4.

In total viewers: CBS, 14.2 million; ABC, 12.5 million; Fox, 7.6 million; NBC, 5.5 million; Univision, 4.1 million; CW, 3.0 million.

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