Solid start for CW’s ‘Circle’

New drama a good fit with 'Vampire Diaries'

The CW’s new drama “The Secret Circle” opened to pretty good numbers Thursday, looking to be a good pairing with the net’s top-rated show, “The Vampire Diaries.”

Preliminary Nielsen estimates show “Secret Circle” averaging a 1.3 rating/3 share in adults 18-49 and 3 million viewers overall in the 9 o’clock hour, airing after “The Vampire Diaries” (1.4/4 in 18-49, 3.0 million viewers overall). “Circle,” about a group of young witches, was written by Kevin Williamson and, like “Vampire,” is an Alloy Entertainment adaption.

“Circle” was down a tick in 18-49 from the bow of “Nikita” in the Thursday 9 p.m. hour a year ago, but lead-in “Vampire Diaries” came in down two ticks itself (from a 1.6 last year) — though it still led its hour among women 18-34 (2.2/7). The new drama was an especially good fit among females 12-34, with “Circle” (1.9/6) retaining 90% of “Vampire” (2.1/7).

In women 18-34, “Secret Circle” averaged a 1.9/5, second to ABC among the broadcasters in the 9 o’clock hour and matching the CW’s all-time high. Last year’s “Nikita” opened to a 1.8.

As it did a year ago, CW was looking to get a jump on the Thursday field with its early premieres. Its dramas will face tough firstrun competition in the coming weeks from the likes of Fox’s “The X-Factor” and “Bones,” CBS’ “The Big Bang Theory” and ABC’s “Grey’s Anatomy.”

Also promising Thursday was NBC’s repeat airing of “Up All Night” (1.0/3 in 18-49, 2.6 million viewers overall), which built on its lead-in from a repeat of “Community” (0.6/2 in 18-49, 2.2 million viewers overall); the show had drawn good numbers for its special preview airing behind “America’s Got Talent” on Wednesday before moving to its regular leadoff slot on the night. And at 9:30 p.m., viewers got a second chance to sample “Free Agents” (1.1/3 in 18-49, 2.4 million viewers overall), which aired behind “The Office” (1.4/4 in 18-49, 3.1 million viewers overall).

Elsewhere, ABC had its best Thursday in a while with the final two original episodes of the summer for “Wipeout” (2.0/6 in 18-49, 6.5 million viewers overall at 8 p.m. and 2.4/6 in 18-49, 6.9 million viewers overall at 9 p.m.), followed by a repeat of “Grey’s Anatomy” (1.1/3 in 18-49, 3.2 million viewers overall).

CBS aired a repeat hour of “The Big Bang Theory” (2.2/7 in 18-49, 8.1 million viewers overall at 8 p.m. and 2.6/8 in 18-49, 8.7 million viewers overall at 8:30 p.m.) and an encore of May’s two-hour season finale of “The Mentalist” (1.5/4 in 18-49, 7.9 million viewers overall).

Fox, which figures to be a strong Thursday player this fall with “The X Factor,” didn’t do much last night with repeat of “Bones” at 8 (0.9/3 in 18-49, 3.7 million viewers overall) and its regular time period of 9 (1.1/3 in 18-49, 3.9 million viewers overall).

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: ABC and CBS, 1.8/5; Univision, 1.5/4; CW, 1.4/4; Fox, 1.0/3; NBC, 0.9/3.

In total viewers: CBS, 8.1 million; ABC, 5.6 million; Fox, 3.8 million; Univision, 3.7 million; CW, 3.0 million; NBC, 2.7 million.

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