Early Ratings: 'House' and 'Fringe' Beat Down by 'NCIS' and 'The Mentalist'?

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September 24th, 2008

Update 8:50am PDT: House, even though it was down to 12.143 million viewers easily won the hour among 18-49 year olds with a 5.0/14 (second place NCIS had a 3.5) and destroyed the field among 18-34 year olds with a 4.7/15 (Biggest Loser was second in that demo for the hour with a 2.2/7). Fringe retained a good bit of House's viewers with 9.651 million and had a 4.2/10 among 18-49 year olds (second for the hour only to DWTS w/4.5/11. Fringe also destroyed the field among 18-34 year olds with a 4.0/11 -- The Mentalist had 15.549 million viewers, but a 3.5/9 among 18-49 year olds, and only a 1.9/5 among 18-34 year olds... Bill will have the full overnight rankings up shortly...P.S. 90210 dropped ever so slightly below 3 million viewers... The full overnight post (at least the full data table) is now up here.

First...Felicia Day was on House! Not only that, we got to see her with the top of her head sawed off and her brain exposed. How cool is that? For those who don't know, Ms. Day was some kind of actress on some Web video shows, but to be honest I'd never heard of her until the Joss Whedon produced Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog. Though I liked Dr. Horrible, the thing that impressed me the most about her is her seeming love of geekdom and her participation on services like Twitter and FriendFeed. Though I haven't really followed either of those services in weeks, seeing her level of participation on such services over the summer was pretty cool. It seems that she is building a real acting career by leveraging the Internet and if that lands you next to Dr. House, you're doing something right. Congratulations, Felicia!

Ok, keeping in mind as ever that these early metered market numbers are very subject to change and that the data we'll see in the fast affiliate reports later will (while still being preliminary) be more telling...

CBS looks to have won the first real Tuesday of the television season with NCIS (10.6/17, household rating/share) a strong debut by The Mentalist (10.2/15) and Without a Trace (7.7/12). Dancing with the Stars easily won the 9p-11p with an 11.8/18.

A two hour The Biggest Loser had a 4.7/7 between 8p-10p. One of Mr. Gorman's favorites, Law & Order SVU finished third at 10pm with a 6.7/11, but will likely beat Without a Trace (if past history is an indicator) among 18-49 year olds.

House seems to have dropped a bit to a 7.8/13, but will likely still be very strong among 18-49 and 18-34 year olds. Fringe appears to have dropped even more -- up against the premiere of The Mentalist with a 6.3/9, Despite what appears will be many fewer viewers it's possible Fringe beats The Mentalist among 18-49 year olds. The question is, if it doesn't, will Fox continue to refer to Fringe as a "smash hit?" Stay tuned...

And to show the CW some love, 90210 seems to be holding up with Gossip Girl style numbers (2.4/4) against the increased competition while Privileged is having more problems with a 1.7/2. Of course the CW is mostly interested in holding up in the women 18-34 demographic, and while we will see the aggregate 18-34 demo numbers, we won't see the 18-34 female numbers until CW shares them with us...

The full overnight post with total viewers and age demo breakouts will be posted as soon as we've seen the data.

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