Once-popular series premieres to 5.0 million viewers

It may turn out to be a popular DVR draw, but ABC’s “Ugly Betty” is off to a quiet start on Friday.

The one-time Thursday hit opened on its new night with a preliminary 1.3 rating/5 share in adults 18-49 and 5.0 million viewers overall at 8 p.m. and then edged up slightly — and finished third — in its regular 9 p.m. slot (prelim 1.4/4 in 18-49, 5.2 million).

“Betty” was down sharply from its Thursday 8 p.m. bow of last fall, but it was in line with the net’s premieres on Friday a year ago (“Wife Swap” and “Supernanny”).

Friday, of course, remains a tough night for every net, as the already low levels of television usage are impacted by increased DVR penetration. Presumably, many auds are using Friday as a DVR catch-up night, playing back programs they missed earlier in the week.

Fox won the night with baseball’s American League Championship Series opener between the New York Yankees and Los Angeles Angels, averaging a 2.3/8 in 18-49 and 7.4 million viewers overall on the net’s affils from 8 to 11 p.m.

And Saturday’s Game 2 extra-inning affair between the Yankees and Angels fared even better (prelim 3.6/9 in 18-49 and 9.1 million viewers on the Fox affils from 8 to 11.) Fox estimates that the contest, which wrapped well after midnight in the East, will emerge as the most-watched LCS game on a Saturday since 2004 (Red Sox-Yankees).

In final ratings on Thursday, Game 1 of the National League Championship Series between the Philadelphia Phillies and Los Angeles Dodgers on TBS averaged a 2.3 rating/9 share in adults 18-49 and 6.86 million viewers overall, up slightly from the 6.69 million viewers for last year’s comparable game.

ABC’s “Grey’s Anatomy” was the night’s top demo performer (5.0/13 in 18-49) while CBS’ “CSI” was the most-watched show overall (15.38 million). NBC’s “30 Rock” opened its season with a third-place finish at 9:30 p.m. (3.0/8, 6.39m), down vs. last year’s bow.

Also of note, a pair of first-year shows — ABC’s “FlashForward” (3.1/9 in 18-49, 9.07m) and NBC’s “Community” (2.0/6, 5.01m) — both edged up a tick. And CW’s “Vampire Diaries” continues to look good (1.8/5 in 18-49, 3.88m), posting best-since-premiere scores in most categories.

ABC won Thursday in 18-49 for a fourth straight week, while CBS again prevailed in total viewers.

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