Private Practice Second in Ratings Among Premieres

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The Private Practice buzz paid off. Sort of.

After a slew of much-hyped new shows premiered to merely average ratings, NBC's heavily marketed Bionic Woman conquered a tough field of new and returning shows to win Wednesday night.

Bionic Woman earned a 5.5 rating among adults 18-49, topping the premiere of ABC's Grey's Anatomy spinoff Private Practice, which earned a 5.1 rating.

Bionic Woman is the highest-rated new series premiere thus far this fall, with Private Practice second. Bionic Woman won its hour despite Private Practice having a higher lead-in and was the top Wednesday NBC debut since 1999.

Private Practice

The Bionic Woman-Private Practice showdown wounded the rest of the 9 p.m. field. CBS' Criminal Minds was down 22 percent from last year to a 3.5.

Fox's Kitchen Nightmares, meanwhile, dropped 22 percent in its second week to 2.4 and The CW's Gossip Girl fell 25 percent to an anorexic 1.2.

At 8 p.m., the Dancing With the Stars results show won the hour (an on-par 4.0), followed by the second week of Kid Nation (2.8, down 10 percent).

NBC's Deal or No Deal (2.6) and Fox's Back to You (2.8, down 10 percent) and Til Death (2.4) followed. The CW's America's Next Top Model stayed strong at 2.4.

  • Overall, ABC nudged out NBC for the nightly win by a tenth of a point, followed by CBS, Fox and The CW.
  • Among total viewers, ABC's Wednesday night victory was more pronounced, and Private Practice topped Bionic Woman in overall audience.

Ever since May upfronts, when networks unveiled fall schedules, Wednesdays have been the most-discussed night, given the intense array of competition.

Bionic Woman has topped buzz-tracking measures all summer, while Private Practice was dented a bit by a backdoor pilot that aired in May.

In the past week, however, any sense that buzz produces viewers seemed to go out the window as the drumbeats of publicity for CBS' Kid Nation, NBC's Chuck and The CW's Reaper went largely unheeded.

The only safe bet for breakout numbers seemed to be with returning hits, such as NBC's Heroes and Fox's House. Both Bionic and Private (the latter of which, had it aired on any other night, would have dominated headlines this morning) show that freshman premieres can still draw big tune-ins.

Steve Marsi is the Managing Editor of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Google+ or email him here.

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Private Practice was awesome. Excellent, it definately has a future. Shondra did it...and you were all doubting her. Actually I was doubting her too...but she pulled through. Incredable, and I love the new Naomi. Kate Walsh is so funny!

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I'll bet the audience for Bionic Woman is more male and younger M&F than Private Practice. Private Practice audience has more disposable income.

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Private Practice Quotes

A lot of men have a joy of seeing me naked. A lot! Well, not a lot... I mean.. 8, Well... 11.

Addison

You ever been violated? Anybody rape you lately? Let me tell you what its like. You know those made for TV movies where some woman's crouched down naked in a shower holding her knees and sobbing because when she closes her eyes she can still feel the guys hands on her? How when they show the attack the woman's eyes go all blank and still and she goes to some other place in her mind just to deal with the horror of what's happening to her while some Lillith Fair song plays. It is nothing like that. He's sturdy and sweaty and he licks your face and wipes himself off in your hair and when you try to scream he punches you so hard you see God. And then he goes at you again reaping stuff you didn't even know you had because he enjoyed it so much the first time. I know you're trying to help but if helping me means that everyone is gonna be looking at me the way you're looking at me now please do not help me.

Charlotte

Private Practice Music

  Song Artist
Song Lost The Mary Onettes
Down in the valley Down In The Valley The Broken West iTunes
Song Message From Yuz The Switches