Fox stays strong with Orange Bowl game

NBC’s “The Biggest Loser” opened Tuesday with its best preem score to date to lift the net to a narrow demo victory on the night. CBS was neck and neck in young adults and led in other categories behind its “NCIS” duo, and Fox held tough with its Orange Bowl college football game.

According to preliminary nationals from Nielsen, a new couples edition of “The Biggest Loser” kicked off Tuesday with a two-hour installment that averaged a 4.6 rating/12 share in adults 18-49 and 11.7 million viewers overall — up 21% in the demo from its most recent season preem in the fall and slightly higher than its year-ago debut to stand as the show’s best-ever premiere delivery. It won its two-hour time period in 18-49 and dominated in females and 18-34 categories.

And that led into “The Jay Leno Show” (2.2/6 in 18-49, 6.4 million viewers overall), which hit a four-week high.

At CBS, vet “NCIS” (4.4/12 in 18-49, 21.3 million viewers overall) and rookie “NCIS: Los Angeles” (3.7/9 in 18-49, 18.0 million viewers overall) both drew their second largest overall audiences to date; the former won its timeslot in 18-49, 25-54 and stood as the night’s most-watched program overall, while the latter placed second in the demos and first in total viewers. “The Good Wife” capped the Eye net’s most-watched Tuesday since September with above-average scores (3.0/8 in 18-49, 13.8 million viewers overall), easily topping the entertainment series on NBC and ABC.

Fox’s coverage of the Orange Bowl, pitting Iowa against Georgia Tech, averaged a 3.5/9 in 18-49 and 10.3 million viewers overall on the net’s affiliates from 8:30 to 11 p.m., with these averages expected to rise in the nationals. It was up vs. last year’s Orange Bowl, which aired on Jan. 1.

ABC had a very quiet night, going with original episodes of “Scrubs” at both 8 p.m. (1.5/4 in 18-49, 3.9 million viewers overall) and 9 p.m. (1.4/4 in 18-49, 3.0 million viewers overall) and “Better Off Ted” at 8:30 p.m. (1.3/3 in 18-49, 3.0 million viewers overall) and 9:30 p.m. (1.1/3 in 18-49, 2.6 million viewers overall). And at 10, struggling rookie “The Forgotten” hit a low (1.2/3 in 18-49, 4.4 million viewers overall), finishing well behind NBC’s “Jay Leno.”

CW was again virtually invisible with repeats of “90210″ (0.4/1 in 18-49, 0.9 million viewers overall) and “Melrose Place” (0.3/1 in 18-49, 0.8 million viewers overall).

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: NBC, 3.8/10; CBS, 3.7/10; Fox, 3.2/8; Univision, 1.4/4; ABC, 1.3/3; CW, 0.4/1.

In total viewers: CBS, 17.7 million; NBC, 9.9 million; Fox, 9.8 million; Univision, 3.8 million; ABC, 3.5 million; CW, 0.9 million.

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