'Vegas' holds up fairly well; Fox's 'Mindy' falls off

CBS was in control of Tuesday’s ratings race, sweeping the night in key demos behind timeslot-winning drama trio “NCIS,” “NCIS: Los Angeles” and “Vegas.” NBC ran second among young adults, getting good mileage out of a “Voice” recap special, while CW saw a solid return for “Hart of Dixie.”

Most shows dropped off on the second Tuesday of the television season, though Fox’s “New Girl” and ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars” held steady at their same-night levels of last week.

According to preliminary national estimates from Nielsen, CBS’ “NCIS” was Tuesday’s No. 1 show in adults 18-49 (3.6/11), adults 25-54 (5.0/13) and total viewers, coming in down about 12% from its premiere. It was followed by “NCIS: Los Angeles” (3.1/8 in 18-49, 14.9 million viewers overall), which is having a surprisingly easy time beating its competition, and came within 10% of its premiere rating.

And closing out the night, “Vegas” (2.1/6 in 18-49, 12.1 million viewers overall) dropped off by 16% week to week but remained the hour’s broadcast leader in all key categories. It was premiere week’s most-watched new series.

CBS dominated Tuesday in total viewers, nearly matching the combined deliveries of ABC and NBC.

Elsewhere, NBC aired a “Best of the Blind Auditions” special of “The Voice” (2.9/9 in 18-49, 8.2 million viewers overall), down from last week’s original but good enough for a solid second-place finish in the hour. It was followed by rookie comedies “Go On” (2.2/6 in 18-49, 6.0 million viewers overall) and “The New Normal” (1.7/5 in 18-49, 4.6 million viewers overall), both of which have been picked up for a full season.

The comedies were down from last week when they had a stronger “Voice” lead-in, but each delivered pretty good retention of their lead-in.

Fox won the comedy battle in the 9 o’clock hour as “New Girl” (2.8/7 in 18-49, 5.1 million viewers overall) was up slightly to open up a larger advantage over “Go On.” At 9:30, “The Mindy Project” (1.9/5 in 18-49, 3.7 million viewers overall), after looking OK in its premiere, dropped off about 20% week to week to rank third in the half-hour among 18-49 but remained ahead of “New Normal.”

The opening hour wasn’t pretty for Fox, with “Raising Hope” (1.7/5 in 18-49, 3.9 million viewers overall) opening its season deep in third place but in line with what it was doing when it aired in the leadoff slot last spring. Given its depressed lead-in, new 8:30 p.m. comedy “Ben and Kate” (1.6/5 in 18-49, 3.3 million viewers overall) didn’t look so bad but nonetheless was down more than 20% week to week.

ABC opened with a low-rated “Dancing With the Stars” special (1.3/4 in 18-49, 8.2 million viewers overall) and then was more competitive in the 9 o’clock hour with a “Dancing” results show (2.1/5 in 18-49, 11.8 million viewers overall). The show remains well off last year’s pace, though at least it managed to match the 18-49 average of last week’s two-hour Tuesday opener.

At 10, “Private Practice” (1.6/4 in 18-49, 6.1 million viewers overall) was down 16% from its series premiere of last week, finishing slightly behind in demos to NBC’s “Parenthood” (1.7/5 in 18-49, 4.5 million viewers overall), which was within a tick of its week-ago 18-49 score.

CW is getting its season going with a couple of premieres this week, including Tuesday’s second-season opener for “Hart of Dixie” (0.7/2 in 18-49, 1.6 million viewers overall), which was in line both with its premiere on Monday a year ago and with what “90210” delivered in the Tuesday opening hour on the comparable week a year ago. In adults 18-34 (0.8/3), “Hart” topped the delivery of its final seven episodes of last season.

The drama was followed by music competition “The Next” (0.3/1 in 18-49, 1.4 million viewers overall). Vet “Supernatural” returns tonight, and five other CW dramas will kick off next week, including “Arrow” on Wednesday.

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: CBS, 2.9/8; NBC, 2.2/6; Fox, 2.0/6; ABC, 1.7/5; Univision, 1.5/4; CW, 0.5/1.

In total viewers: CBS, 15.1 million; ABC, 8.7 million; NBC, 6.0 million; Fox, 4.0 million; Univision, 3.6 million; CW, 1.1 million.

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