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Ratings Chart Attack! is the TV industry’s destination for a daily dose of prime-time ratings. Delivering the daily scoop on which shows are scoring. TVWeek’s Sergio Ibarra calls the winners and losers, and what it means to broadcast network programmers. From day-in, day-out ratings to long-view trends and noteworthy performances, Ratings Chart Attack! delivers.

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NBC, 'Loser' the Tuesday Winners

January 7, 2009 12:10 PM

NBC’s latest debut for “The Biggest Loser” helped give the network a big ratings win Tuesday night, while “Scrubs’” move to ABC helped pull the alphabet net out of a holiday ratings slump. Scrubs

A two-hour “Loser” averaged a 4.4 rating/11 share among viewers 18-49, according to preliminary Nielsen Media Research numbers, matching its debut from last spring and increasing 38% over the most recent season opener in the fall.

The debut was the top-rated show of the night across all broadcast networks, also marking the top-rated “Loser” episode, except for finales, since the show’s second-to-last episode from season one in January 2005. Additionally, the season seven debut ranks as the most-watched in the series, drawing 11.8 million viewers.

“Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” followed with 3.9/10 in the 10 p.m. hour, reaching new ratings highs for the season. NBC finished the night first in the demographic with a 4.3/11, and second in total viewers with 11.4 million.

CBS won the night among total viewers (17.3 million), and placed second in the demographic with a 3.4/9. New episodes of “NCIS" (3.7/10), “The Mentalist” (3.9/10) and “Without a Trace” (2.7/7) were all about average for their season-to-date.

On ABC, the new reality series “Homeland Security USA” debuted to a 2.3/6, up 44% from the fall debut of “Opportunity Knocks.”

Back-to-back episodes of “Scrubs” on its new ABC home scored a 3.1/7 and a 3.2/8, both below the previous season premiere on NBC in October 2007, when it averaged a 3.8/9. Tuesday’s premiere, however, was up 24% from the last original airing last May, when it scored a 2.5 as part of NBC Thursday-night comedy lineup.

The premiere of “Primetime: What Would You Do?” (2.7/7) helped give ABC a third-place finish for the night in the demographic and among total viewers, averaging a 2.7/7 and 7.2 million viewers, respectively. The network’s performance in the demographic marks its strongest in six weeks, since before Thanksgiving, in addition to a 125% ratings increase year over year.

Fox finished the night fourth (1.8/5, 4.6 million) with encore episodes of “House” (2.2/6) and “Fringe” (1.5/4). All eyes will be on Fox and its effects on other networks next Tuesday when season eight of “American Idol” kicks off.

The CW placed fifth with new episodes of “90210” (1.4/4) and “Privileged” (0.8/2). The network averaged a 1.1/3 and 2.3 million viewers. Among women 18-34, The CW averaged a 2.1 rating.

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