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Ratings: Heroes goes up and away

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Heroes is showing muscle.

Last night's episode of the freshman series matched its highest ratings yet, 6.2 rating/15 share in 18- to 49-year-olds, with 14.3 million total viewers, according to Nielsen overnights. That's almost 10 percent better than last week's episode, and it makes Heroes the highest-rated new show of the 2006 fall season.

Heroes received a full season order from NBC on October 5, and on Sunday the network ran a marathon. The higher numbers could be attributed to viewers who were on the fence about the serialized drama watching the marathon and liking what they saw.

At 8 p.m., NBC and Deal or No Deal won a 4.4 in 18 to 49s, with CBS earning a combined 3.3 for How I Met Your Mother at a 3.6 and The Class at 2.9. Fox and Prison Break ran away with a 3.2, ABC's Wife Swap blissed a 2.8, and the CW earned a 1.2 for Everybody Hates Chris and All of Us.

At 9 p.m., Heroes soared to its 6.2, followed by CBS with a combined 4.3 for Two and a Half Men at 4.7 and The New Adventures of Old Christine at 3.9. The Bachelor romanced a 3.2 on ABC, and Fox earned a 2.0 for delivering Justice. The CW scored a combined 1.2 for Girlfriends and The Game.

In the 10 p.m. slot, CBS's CSI: Miami and David Caruso took over with a 5.9, followed by NBC's Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip at 3.2--a slight uptick from last week's 3.1. ABC asked What About Brian and received a 2.7 answer.

Overall, NBC earned a 4.6 rating/12 share in 18-49s, with 12.5 million average viewers; CBS a 4.5/11, 13.3 million; ABC a 2.9/7, 7.2 million; Fox a 2.6/7, 7.3 million; and the CW a 1.2/3, 2.8 million.

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