'Bionic,' 'Life' Fly High For NBC

True to early network research, NBC's "Bionic Woman" premiere -- in the third night of the new season--earned some high-flying, high-tech time period-busting numbers.

The show pulled in a Wednesday night-leading Nielsen preliminary live program plus same day 5.5 rating among 18-49 viewers. It bested ABC's highly touted "Grey's Anatomy" spinoff "Private Practice"--but not by much. "Practice" still offers a stellar 5.1 rating. The two shows ran against each other in the 9 p.m. time period.

But the biggest surprise of the night wasn't NBC's remake of the 1970s TV hit about a woman equipped with high-tech limbs. It was NBC's 10 p.m. show "Life," which amazingly won its time period--albeit with a sturdy 4.1 rating.

"Life"--about a cop who returns to the force after many years of being jailed for a crime he did not commit--shocked CBS' "CSI: New York," which could only muster a meager 3.7 rating, the lowest premiere ever for the show.

ABC's debut of "Dirty Sexy Money" came right behind the "CSI" franchise--more or less as expected, with a respectable 3.6 rating. Critics didn't give "Sexy Money" that much of a chance--yet it came within a rating whisker of taking out "CSI."



Still, don't give any of these new 10 p.m. one-hour dramas the thumbs-up just yet: Both "Life" and "Sexy Money" let 11% of their viewers wander away in their second half-hours.

ABC claimed the big win of the night--it beat NBC with a 4.2/11 to NBC's 4.1/11. ABC had the advantage of having a strong 8 p.m. "Dancing with the Stars: Results Show," which easily won its time period with a 4.0 rating.

Some new shows that had a head start of debuting a week ago fell slightly this week against all the heavy competition, which was expected. At 8 p.m., Fox's "Back To You" dropped 10% to a 2.8; CBS's "Kid Nation" slipped 7%, also to a 2.8.

Two 9 p.m. shows witnessed sharper declines: Fox's "Kitchen Nightmares" withdrew 23% to a 2.4, while CW's "Gossip Girl" fell 27% from target 18-34 viewers to a 1.6.

For the night, CBS took over third place--well behind ABC and NBC--with a 3.3/9. Fox was next with a 2.5/7; CW was behind Fox at a 1.8/5. Univision locked up last place at a 1.6/4.

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