CW's 'Vampire' meanwhile sets record for network

Perhaps all broadcast television needs to turn its fortunes around is a show about vampires playing football.

NBC’s NFL season-opening telecast Thursday drew about as big an audience as the other major American broadcasters combined, according to metered-market results from Nielsen, but there was also good news for the CW, whose “Vampire Diaries” set a series debut record for the network.

The overtime game between the Super Bowl champion Pittsburgh Steelers and the Tennessee Titans, beginning shortly after 8:30 p.m. Eastern, had a preliminary 7.5 rating and 21 share among viewers 18-49 and close to 30 million viewers overall for NBC, as a prelude to the Peacock’s Sunday Night Football broadcasts. A halfhour pregame show had initial numbers of 4.5/15, 12.3 million.

The game broadcast was the top-rated Thursday season-opener for NBC to date and the highest rated primetime showing on any network since May’s “American Idol” season finale.

“Vampire Diaries” (2.1/6, 4.8 million) surpassed the CW series debut record set a year ago by “90210,” established network records for women 18-34 and 18-49 in its 8 p.m. Thursday timeslot and gave CBS’ “Big Brother” (2.6/8, 7.6 million) a run for its money among adults 18-49. The audience for “Vampire” increased slightly in its second halfhour.

Although the season premiere of “Supernatural” (1.4/4, 3.4 million) didn’t suck off all of its “Vampire” leadin, the night was still the CW’s best Thursday among women ever.

The remaining programming for the night featured scripted reruns, with CBS’ “CSI” (1.4/4, 7.4 million) and “The Mentalist” (1/7/5, 8.0 million) drawing the biggest audiences.

“Bones” (1.2/4, 4.3 million) and “Fringe” (1.1/3, 3.5 million) will have their season premieres on Fox next week, while fans of ABC’s “Grey’s Anatomy” (1.1/3, 4.0 million at 8 p.m., 1.3/4, 4.5 million at 9 p.m.) will have to wait until Sept. 24 (the same date as “CSI” and “Mentalist”).

The Alphabet’s “Private Practice” (1.0/3 ,3.5 million) has its season premiere Oct. 1,

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: NBC 7.0/20, CBS 1.9/5, CW 1.7/5, Univision 1.5/4, Fox 1.2/3, ABC 1.1/3.

In total viewers: NBC 17.8 million, CBS 7.7 million, CW 4.1 million, ABC 4.0 million, Fox 3.9 million, Univision 3.6 million.

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