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‘Last Comic’ Solid in Return for NBC; Fox’s ‘Gang Related,’ CW’s ‘Labyrinth’ Open Modestly

Back for the first time in four years, NBC’s “Last Comic Standing” looked pretty good in its season premiere Thursday, a night that also saw soft numbers for Fox drama “Gang Related” and CW’s acquired movie “Labyrinth.”

According to preliminary national estimates from Nielsen, “Last Comic Standing” averaged a 1.7 rating/5 share in adults 18-49 and 5.4 million viewers overall from 9 to 11 p.m., easily winning its timeslot and lifting the Peacock to victory for the night; it peaked with a 1.8 in the 10:30 p.m. half-hour. In its most recent season, in the summer of 2010, “Last Comic” opened with a 2.0/6.

The 1.7 rating is the best for NBC with series programming in the timeslot since the night of the “Michael J. Fox Show” series premiere in September.

Opening the night for the Peacock was “Hollywood Game Night” (1.1/4 in 18-49, 3.9 million viewers overall), which matched last week’s score.

At Fox, “Hell’s Kitchen” (1.5/6 in 18-49, 4.2 million viewers overall) was down two-tenths from last week when it had “American Idol” airing behind it. It was followed by the series premiere of “Gang Related” (0.9/3 in 18-49, 3.0 million viewers overall), which placed third for its hour among the Big Four networks in 18-49; if there was a positive, it’s that “Gang,” which follows members of an elite unit of the L.A.P.D. that takes on the city’s most dangerous gangs, pretty much held its audience from its first half-hour to its second.

As might be expected, “Gang” outperformed its national average in the Los Angeles market (1.5/5 in 18-49).

Labyrinth,” a two-night, four-hour movie produced by Tandem Communications and Film Afrika Worldwide in association with Scott Free Films and Universal Production Partners, opened to a 0.4/1 in 18-49 and 1.3 million viewers overall, losing viewers with each half-hour. Based on a book of the same name, “Labyrinth” tells the story of two women, one from the 13th century and the other from the 21st century, in search of the Holy Grail.

CBS, which won the night in total viewers, had Thursday’s No. 1 program with a repeat of “The Big Bang Theory” (2.2/9 in 18-49, 8.9 million viewers overall). It was followed by repeats of “The Millers” (1.5/5 in 18-49, 6.0 million viewers overall) and “Two and a Half Men” (1.3/4 in 18-49, 5.7 million viewers overall), an original “Bad Teacher” (1.1/4 in 18-49, 4.4 million viewers overall) and an encore “Elementary” (0.9/3 in 18-49, million viewers overall).

ABC didn’t do much on the night with an encore of Monday’s season premiere of “The Bachelorette” (0.6/2 in 18-49, 2.7 million viewers overall), a repeat “Modern Family” (0.8/3 in 18-49, 2.8 million viewers overall) and an original “Black Box” (0.8/3 in 18-49, 3.7 million viewers overall). Airing without a “Grey’s Anatomy” lead-in for the first time, “Black Box” dropped three-tenths to its lowest score to date.

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: NBC, 1.5/5; CBS, 1.3/4; Fox and Univision, 1.2/4; ABC, 0.7/2; Telemundo, 0.5/2; CW, 0.4/1.

In total viewers: CBS, 5.8 million; NBC, 4.9 million; Fox, 3.6 million; ABC, 3.1 million; Univision, 2.7 million; CW, 1.3 million; Telemundo, 1.2 million.

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