Buoyed by the top two new series of the season, ABC tied a football-fueled NBC in the primetime demo race for a second straight frame.

Same-day viewership levels, meanwhile, remain down in the early going, with the five broadcast nets off 8% in adults 18-49 vs. the same time a year ago. While increased DVR usage certainly accounts for some of the decline, it’s also likely a function of this fall’s crop of new skeins, which have generally failed to excite auds.

Among shows that have aired at least twice, ABC’s “Private Practice” looks to be the strongest, while its lead-out “Dirty Sexy Money” is looking pretty solid, as is CBS Monday comedy “The Big Bang Theory.”

Looking shaky among the newbies are Monday’s “K-Ville” on Fox, Tuesday’s “Cane” on CBS, Thursday’s “Big Shots” on ABC and CW’s Sunday half-hours “CW Now” and “Online Nation.”

Overall for the Oct. 1-7 frame, according to “live plus same day” DVR playback estimates provided by Nielsen, ABC and NBC battled to a draw in adults 18-49 with a 3.6 rating/10 share. They were followed by CBS (3.3/9), Fox (2.7/7), a playoff baseball-boosted TBS (1.8/5), Univision (1.4/4) and CW (1.2/3).

The Alphabet and Eye tied among adults 25-54 (4.2/11), while CBS stood as the most-watched net overall (11.4 million to ABC’s 10.8 million).

NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” game between the rival Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers (7.6/20 in 18-49, 18.30m) tied with ABC drama “Grey’s Anatomy” (7.6/19, 18.61m) as the week’s top show in 18-49, while in overall total viewers, CBS vet “CSI” led the way (20.97 million).

Also for ABC, “Desperate Housewives” (6.8/16, 17.82m) and “Dancing With the Stars” (5.2/13, 20.21m) again made the top 10, while Wednesday rookies “Pushing Daisies” (4.3/13, 13.03m) and “Private Practice” (4.5/11, 12.45m) cracked the top 20 and both won their hours. “Daisies” became the top-rated Wednesday premiere in the hour on any net since its “Lost” bowed there in 2004.

The Alphabet also had to be pleased with the premieres of comedies “Cavemen” (3.5/10 in 18-49, 9.19m) and “Carpoolers” (3.5/9, 9.06m), which ranked second in their Tuesday slots.

As for the net’s new 10 o’clock dramas, Wednesday’s “Dirty Sexy Money” (3.5/10, 9.61m) retained just about all of its premiere audience, but Thursday’s “Big Shots” (3.6/10, 8.23m) lost 20% of its preem aud.

At NBC, “Heroes” remained strong on Monday (5.5/13 in 18-49, 11.96m), and the new shows surrounding it still looked pretty good in their second outings: “Chuck” at 8 (3.2/8, 8.39m) and “Journeyman” at 10 (3.2/8, 8.23m).

Wednesday’s “Bionic Woman” (4.1/10, 11.07m) dropped by 28% from its preem but placed a solid No. 2 in its timeslot, while Friday’s “Friday Night Lights” (2.1/7 in 18-49, 6.37m) opened to decent numbers on its new night. And on the comedy side, “The Office” remained potent in its tough Thursday hour (4.6/11, 8.57m), and its “30 Rock” lead-in hit a series high with its season premiere (3.4/9, 7.33m).

CBS was paced by vets “CSI” (6.4/16, 20.97m) and “Survivor” (4.5/13, 14.14m) on Thursday and “Two and a Half Men” (4.6/11, 13.24m) and “CSI: Miami” (4.5/11, 14.72m) on Monday. Net also received a nice boost from Saturday’s big college football game between LSU and Florida (3.1/10, 8.29m).

Among new shows, comedy “The Big Bang Theory” is doing pretty well on Monday (3.3/8, 8.50m), but drama “Cane” isn’t clicking on Tuesday (2.5/7, 9.19m), dropping 17% from its so-so premiere. “Kid Nation” continues to do OK on Wednesday (2.4/7, 7.43m), as is “Moonlight” on Friday (2.2/7, 8.04m).

In another quiet week for Fox, only the powerhouse “House” (7.2/17, 17.44m) and animated vet “The Simpsons” (3.7/10, 7.89m) delivered double-digit shares. One show on the rise was Wednesday’s “Kitchen Nightmares” (2.9/7, 6.22m) although it remained fourth in its slot.

CW was led by Wednesday’s “America’s Next Top Model” (2.2/6 in 18-49, 4.54m) and Thursday for “Smallville” (1.9/5, 4.59m), while new Tuesday drama “Reaper” is hanging in there (1.4/3, 2.86m). Net continues to be dragged down by Sunday duds “CW Now” (0.3/1, 0.79m) and “Online Nation” (0.3/1, 0.70m). “Online” gave no support to family drama “Life Is Wild” (0.4/1, 1.65m), which struggled in its bow.

ESPN’s “Monday Night Football” game between the New England Patriots and Cincinnati Bengals was cable’s No. 1 program of the week (5.1/14 in 18-49, 11.83m), but TBS was the overall leader in cable thanks to an action-packed week of first-round baseball playoff games led by Sunday’s Cleveland Indians-New York Yankees matchup (2.6/8 in 18-49, 8.46m).

Nickelodeon scored Saturday night with original one-hour movie “Battle of the Bands,” an extension of the net’s mockumentary comedy series “The Naked Brothers Band.” Pic averaged 3.78 million viewers Saturday and drew more kids 2-11 (2.4 million) and tweens 9-14 (1.6 million) than any program on television for the week.

The top entertainment cablecast of the week was VH1’s “Rock of Love” reunion spec on Sunday (2.3/6 in 18-49, 3.86m), which beat CBS’ “60 Minutes” among adults 18-49. Another solid performer was USA’s first original episode of “Law & Order: Criminal Intent” on Thursday at 10 (1.3/4, 3.76m). It provided the net with significant year-to-year ratings gains despite opposing three broadcast dramas in the time period.

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On Monday of the current week, cable sapped a lot of the male aud with ESPN’s highest-rated “Monday Night Football” contest of the season (5.7/15 in 18-49, 13.03m for Dallas-Buffalo) and TBS’ top postseason baseball game to date (2.9/8, 9.23m for Game 3 of Cleveland-New York). The only cablecast of the year to draw more viewers was Disney Channel’s “High School Musical 2” bow (17.14m).

NBC’s male-skewing lineup was hurt the most, with “Chuck” (2.7/7, 7.21m), “Heroes” (5.1/12, 10.91m) and “Journeyman” (2.9/7, 6.94m) all hitting lows. “Heroes” remained the night’s top-rated scripted program in 18-49.

CBS was solid, with the combo of “How I Met Your Mother” (3.2/8, 7.96m) and “The Big Bang Theory” (3.4/8, 8.35m) placing second at 8 to ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars” (5.0/12, 19.62m from 8 to 9:36 p.m.), while “CSI: Miami” was the clear nonsports choice at 10 (4.5/11, 14.45m). Also, “Two and a Half Men” (4.4/10, 13.02m) and “Rules of Engagement” (3.8/9, 10.68m) kept the Eye competitive at 9.

On par week to week were Fox’s “Prison Break” (3.1/8, 7.35m) and “K-Ville” (2.0/5, 5.29m) and the CW’s comedy lineup, which was again led by “The Game” at 9:30 (1.4/3, 2.86m). First-year comedy “Aliens in America” remains low at 8:30 (0.8/2, 2.11m) but was up from its preem in 18-34.