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Wednesday premieres: “Pushing Daisies” blossoms

Pushdaisies2ABC’s 8 p.m. seedling “Pushing Daisies” got off to a good start, drawing 12.8 million viewers and 4.2 rating/12 share in the adults 18-49 demo.

“Daisies” (pictured left) easily led its time period and built slightly at the half-hour mark, per prelim Nielsens. Show was boffo with femmes, thanks no doubt to the charms of star Lee Pace. It drew 5.3 rating in women 18-49, 4.2 in W18-34 and 6.3 in W25-54.

The presence of “Daisies” hammered Fox’s 8 p.m. anchor “Back to You” (6.6 million, 2.4/7) to its lowest score yet in three airings. CBS’ “Kid Nation” started out soft in its first half-hour but jumped by more than 1 million viewers in the second half to finish out in third place, behind NBC’s “Deal or No Deal” (11.1 million, 2.8/8), with 7.5 million viewers and 2.4/7 in the demo.

ABC got more good news at 9 p.m. as “Private Practice” (pictured right) held up well in its second outing with 12.3 million viewers and 4.5/11 in 18-49. NBC’s competing “Bionic Woman” took a tumble from its premiere outing lastPrivpracticweek2  week but still delivered a credible 10.9 million viewers and 4.0/10 in the demo.

CBS’ “Criminal Minds” was also a factor at 9 p.m., winning the hour in viewers (14.4 million, 3.7/9) and undoubtedly siphoning off a few demo points from the competish. CW’s “Gossip Girl” (2.8 million) was pounded by the surprisingly strong young-femme appeal of “Practice,” which scored a 6.2 in women 18-34 to “Gossip’s” 2.7. “Gossip” nonetheless had the teen aud sewn up with a time slot leading 2.5.

At 10 p.m., week two of ABC’s “Dirty Sexy Money” (9.7 million, 3.6.10) was again a little soft coming out of its “Private Practice” lead-in. NBC’s “Life” (8.8 million, 3.0/8) had the same problem going up against CBS’ incumbent “CSI: NY” (12.7 million, 3.9/10).

Overall, ABC led the night in 18-49 (4.1/11) and narrowly beat CBS for the total viewer crown too (ABC’s 11.61 million average to CBS’ 11.55 million). Click here for a full rundown of the night from Variety and Season Pass-er Rick Kissell.

— Cynthia Littleton