Though of course American Idol was the most watched program of the night, at 9pm, the series premiere of Lie to Me drew more viewers than the return of LOST. In the 9pm hour Lie to Me averaged 13.188 million to LOST‘s 11.656 million between 9pm-10pm. Lie to Me and LOST tied in the 18-49 rating for that hour, with a 5.2 rating.

But included in that mix are three minutes of American Idol (which averaged 25.43 million between 8p-9pm) and the news isn’t all great for FOX. Lie to Me averaged 14.996 million and a 5.9 rating among 18-49 year olds between 9p-9:30p, but only 11.379 and a 4.5 between 9:30p-10p (LOST actually beat it in the second half hour).

Either way Criminal Minds won the most viewers for the 9pm hour with 13.86 million, but with only a 3.5 rating among 18-49 year olds, it trailed both LOST and Lie To Me.

From 10pm-11pm the LOST premiere averaged 11.08 million and a 5.0 rating among 18-49 year olds. While the overall numbers for LOST are a bit lighter than I thought they might be, the 18-49 numbers are inline with predictions. It will be interesting to see where things shake out in the final numbers when the three minutes of American Idol that Lie to Me is benefiting from in the numbers cited here are stripped out.

Please note: all numbers listed here are not timezone adjusted (which is almost always the case with overnight numbers), but FOX has just released timezone adjusted numbers for its shows and wound up with 25.43 million for Idol and 12.37 million for Lie To Me.

Update: data table added.

Full details:

Time Net Show Viewers (Millons) 18-49 Rating/Share 18-34 Rating/Share
8:00 FOX American Idol 25.43 9.7/24 8.7/24
CBS New Adventures of Old Christine 7.44 2.1/6 1.3/4
ABC LOST: Destiny Calls 8.48 3.4/9 3.1/9
UNI Cuidado con el Angel 5.13 1.9/5 2.1/6
NBC Knight Rider 4.98 1.5/4 1.3/4
CW 13 – Fear is Real 1.36 0.5/1 0.7/2
8:30 CBS Gary Unmarried 7.07 2.2/5 1.4/4
9:00 CBS Criminal Minds 13.86 3.5/8 2.1/5
FOX Lie to Me (series premiere) 13.19 5.2/13 5.1/13
ABC LOST (season premiere) 11.66 5.2/12 4.9/13
NBC Law & Order: SVU (R) 5.57 1.7/4 1.5/4
UNI Fuego en la Sangre 5.07 1.9/5 2.1/5
CW 90210 (R) 0.82 0.4/1 0.6/1
10:00 CBS CSI: NY 11.75 3.0/8 1.9/5
ABC LOST (season premiere) 11.08 5.0/13 4.6/12
NBC Law & Order 8.49 2.5/6 1.9/5
UNI Don Francisco Presenta 3.47 1.3/3 1.3/3

Shows are sorted by viewers in each time slot.

Nielsen TV Ratings: ©2008 The Nielsen Company. All Rights Reserved.


Fast Affiliate Ratings: These first national ratings, including demographics, are available at approximately 11 AM (ET) the day after telecast, and are released to subscribing customers daily. These data, from the National People Meter sample, are strictly time-period information, based on the normal broadcast network feed, and include all programming on the affiliated stations, sometimes including network programming, sometimes not. The figures may include stations that did not air the entire network feed, as well as local news breaks or cutaways for local coverage or other programming. Fast Affiliate ratings are not as useful for live programs and are likely to differ significantly from the final results, because the data reflect normal broadcast feed patterns. For example, with a World Series game, Fast Affiliate Ratings would include whatever aired from 8-11PM on affiliates in the Pacific Time Zone, following the live football game, but not game coverage that begins at 5PM PT. The same would be true of Presidential debates as well as live award shows and breaking news reports.

Rating: Estimated percentage of the universe of TV households (or other specified group) tuned to a program in the average minute. Ratings are expressed as a percent.

Share (of Audience): The percent of households (or persons) using television who are tuned to a specific program, station or network in a specific area at a specific time. (See also, Rating, which represents tuning or viewing as a percent of the entire population being measured.)

Time Shifted Viewing – Program ratings for national sources are produced in three streams of data – Live, Live+Same Day (Live+SD) and Live+7 Day. Time shifted figures account for incremental viewing that takes place with DVRs which are currently in approximately 24.4% of all U.S. TV households. Live+Same Day (Live+SD) include viewing during the same broadcast day as the original telecast, with a cut-off of 3:00AM local time when meters transmit daily viewing to Nielsen for processing. Live+7 Day ratings include incremental viewing that takes place during the 7 days following a telecast.

For more information see Numbers 101.

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