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‘Parks,’ ‘Southland,’ ‘Harper’s’ Debuts Leave NBC, CBS Tied With Thursday Win

April 10, 2009 11:41 AM

The high-profile series premieres of NBC’s “Parks & Recreation” and “Southland” and CBS’ “Harper’s Island” gave the two networks a tie for first place for the night. Meanwhile, ABC’s comedies took some hits.

Southland

The debut of “Parks & Recreation” on NBC scored a 3.0 rating/9 share among adults 18-49 and 6.8 million viewers, according to preliminary Nielsen figures. Last night’s debut was a bit off the debut of “Kath & Kim” last October, but it increased the network’s average in the time period by 36%. “Parks” also retained 91% of its lead-in, a special new episode of “The Office” (3.3/11, 7.2 million). At 9 p.m., “The Office” (3.9/11, 7.9 million) in its regular time period was the No. 1 show of the night, although it was down 13% from its last original episode in that slot two weeks ago. Also down was “30 Rock” (3.1/9, 6.6 million), off 9% from its last original episode two weeks ago.

At 10 p.m., NBC’s “Southland” (3.2/9, 9.7 million) debuted strongly, coming in as the highest-rated drama debut among recent new shows across the broadcast networks. Last night’s episode was about on par with the season premiere of “ER” last fall, and it marked the network’s best drama debut since “Life” and “Bionic Woman” premiered in fall 2007. “Southland” edged out CBS’ debut of “Harper’s Island” to win the hour in the demo.

“Harper’s Island” opened with a 2.7/8 (10.5 million), winning the hour among total viewers. “Harper’s” dipped 15% from “Eleventh Hour’s” season average in the time period. Head-to-head, “Harper’s” fell 11% from first to second half-hour, while “Southland” increased 6%. “CSI” (3.7/10, 16.4 million) was down 3% from last week when it went up against the “ER” series finale. Both “CSI” and “Survivor: Tocantins” (3.5/11, 11.3 million) came in with their lowest-rated original episodes ever, excluding clip shows and Thanksgiving.

ABC’s comedies in the 8 p.m. hour dipped from recent episodes. “In the Motherhood” (1.3/4, 4.6 million) was down 19% from last week, and “Samantha Who?” (1.4/4, 4.9 million) was down 13% to a new series low. “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Private Practice” were repeats.

On Fox, a new episode of “Bones” (2.5/8, 8.9 million) was down 7% from last week, while “Hell’s Kitchen” (3.3/9. 7.6 million) remained flat.

The CW aired repeats of “Smallville” and “Supernatural” to score an average 0.8/2 among women 18-34.

For the night: NBC (3.3/10, 8 million) and CBS (3.3/10, 12.7 million) tied for first in the 18-49 demo, but CBS led in viewers. Fox (2.9/8, 8.2 million) came in third, followed by ABC (1.3/4, 4.7 million) and The CW (0.7/2, 2 million).

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