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‘Donnellys’ doesn’t deliver

Crime drama preems in third place

“The Black Donnellys” didn’t deliver a great ratings perf with its bow on NBC Monday night, although it performed better than the show it replaced, “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip.”

Drama, about organized crime in New York City, comes from the “Crash” team of Paul Haggis and Bobby Moresco.

According to Nielsen national estimates, “Donnellys” averaged a 3.2 rating/8 share in adults 18-49 and 7.93 million viewers overall from 10:03 to 11 p.m., retaining about half of its big lead-in from freshman hit “Heroes” (6.5/15, 14.42m from 9 to 10:03).

It ran third for its hour, coming in below CBS’ typically first-place “CSI: Miami” (5.6/15 in 18-49, 17.42m) and also ABC’s Oprah Winfrey “Building a Dream” spec (3.5/9, 8.84m).

The 3.2 demo rating repped an improvement over the 2.9 average for the last five firstrun episodes of “Studio 60” to air in the timeslot.

And though not disastrous, premiere perf doesn’t leave much margin for error in weeks two and three, when most shows decline. Peacock would like to find a show that holds onto well over half of its “Heroes” lead-in.

“Donnellys” didn’t finish strong, averaging a 2.8 rating in 18-49 from 10:30 to 11 after logging a 3.7 in its first half-hour, which aired sans commercials.

In addition to “Heroes,” NBC was also on top at 8 o’clock with “Deal or No Deal” (4.9/12 in 18-49, 17.26m). In the competitive hour, ABC’s “Wife Swap” hit a season high (3.9/10, 8.97m), Fox’s “Prison Break” remained solid (4.0/10, 9.42m), and CBS was above average with comedies “How I Met Your Mother” (3.6/10, 9.33m) and “The Class” (3.5/9, 8.85m).

In its fourth week in the 9:30 slot, CBS laffer “Rules of Engagement” (4.8/11 in 18-49, 13.57m) retained a healthy 89% of its demo lead-in from “Two and a Half Men” (5.4/13, 16.58m).

Night remains a struggle, meanwhile, for the CW, whose 1.1 average in adults 18-49 was down 27% from the 1.5 that UPN posted with its African-American laffers on the same night a year ago.

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