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NBC’s ‘Rock’ solid in premiere

ABC's 'Nine' tumbles in 2nd airing

NBC’s Tina Fey laffer “30 Rock” opened to decent numbers Wednesday, but ABC’s drama “The Nine” is on shaky ground after taking a tumble in its second try.

Meanwhile, CBS drama “Criminal Minds” closed the demo gap with ABC’s “Lost” and nearly caught it in total viewers. And unscripted skeins “Dancing With the Stars” and “America’s Next Top Model” shined in the leadoff hour.

According to Nielsen, “30 Rock” averaged a 2.9 rating/8 share in adults 18-49 and 8.13 million viewers overall to run third in the demo during the 8 o’clock half-hour. Net didn’t fare as well at 8:30 with the new “Twenty Good Years” (2.5/7, 7.05m), losing 2 share points from “30” and placing fifth.

While NBC would like to see better numbers for “30 Rock,” its premiere scores aren’t bad for a self-starter in a timeslot that has not traditionally held comedies for NBC. Net may be better off including it as part of a laffer four-pack on Thursday.

Also in the hour, the results show edition of “Dancing With the Stars” dominated (4.6/13, 18.21m), with CBS first-year drama “Jericho” running second (3.2/9, 10.86m). The CW’s “America’s Next Top Model” (2.7/8, 5.50m) won in 18-34 (3.4/11) with its season-high delivery.

ABC’s “Lost” (6.9/17, 16.89m) remained in control of the 9 o’clock hour in key demos but was down 10% in 18-49 from its week-earlier premiere and 29% from its second seg last year.

Soph CBS drama “Criminal Minds” (4.5/11 in 18-49, 16.73m) finished in its most competitive position yet with a firstrun “Lost,” shaving the Alphabet advantage in the time period to 53% in adults 18-49 and to 23% in adults 25-54 (7.6 to 6.2).

The CW’s “One Tree Hill” was also on the rise in the hour (1.6/4 in 18-49, 3.25m), hitting season highs in all categories, including 18-34 (2.2/6). New net ranked second to ABC from 8 to 10 in adults 18-34 (2.8/8).

At 10 o’clock, “CSI: NY” (6.0/16, 17.97m) logged its best scores since a crossover seg with “CSI: Miami” last November. It easily beat ABC’s hostage-aftermath drama “The Nine” (3.1/8, 8.25m), which fell 33% in 18-49 from its premiere and retained just 45% of its “Lost” lead-in.

“Nine,” which drew perhaps the best reviews of any new program this fall, placed fourth in its second half-hour (behind baseball on Fox, too) among adults 18-49.

NBC improved its standing in the hour with “Dateline” (3.0/8, 8.41m), which rose 58% in 18-49 over drama “Kidnapped” one week earlier (1.9/5).

The Detroit Tigers-Oakland Athletics contest on Fox averaged a 3.2/9 in 18-49 and 9.87 million viewers overall — down from last year when a split-national telecast boosted the ratings. The Mets-Cardinals game also slated for Wednesday was rained out.

For the night, ABC won out in 18-49 over CBS (4.9/13 to 4.6/12), but the Eye inched ahead in 25-54 (5.9/14 to 5.8/14) and total viewers (15.2 million to 14.5 million). CBS was up 15% in 18-49 vs. the same night a year ago.

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