This fall, things are tough all over.
Ex-Saturday Night Live head writer Tina Fey's much-hyped NBC sitcom 30 Rock premiered to disappointing numbers last night, coming in third in its time period, according to Nielsen overnights. The show drew a 2.9 rating in the 18-49 demo with 8.3 million viewers--which NBC helpfully pointed out is 32 percent better than Pentagon drama E-Ring did in the same spot last year.
At 8:30 p.m., the Twenty Good Years series premiere retained 86 percent of its 30 Rock lead-in.
ABC's island mystery Lost snagged 16.69 million viewers, good enough to win its 9 p.m. time period but down from the 18.5 million who tuned into last week's premiere (which was already down 25 percent from the season-two premiere). Even worse (for ABC) is the fact that CBS's Criminal Minds almost matched the show in viewers, with 16.49 million.
Post-Lost show The Nine also sank, losing 50 percent of it's lead-in ratings.
At 8 p.m., ABC and its Dancing Stars scored a 4.6 rating, CBS and Jericho snagged a 3.2, 30 Rock scored a 2.9 at 8 p.m., and Twenty Good Years earned a 2.5 at 8:30 p.m. for a combined 2.7, helping the net to a tie with the The CW's America's Next Top Model. Fox's American League Championship Series earned a 2.4.
At 9 p.m., ABC's Lost found a 6.7, followed by CBS's Criminal Minds at 4.4. NBC and Biggest Loser gobbled up a 3.0, Fox scored a 2.7 with baseball, and the CW earned a 1.5 for One Tree Hill.
In the 10 p.m. slot CBS's CSI: NY booked a 5.9, ABC's The Nine grabbed a 3.2, NBC's Dateline uncovered a 2.9, and Fox's ALCS hit a 2.8.
Overall, ABC led with a 4.8 rating/13 share among 18-49s, followed by CBS at 4.5/12, NBC at 2.9/8, Fox at 2.6/7, and the CW at 2.1/6.
Ratings for Fox are an estimation due to baseball running late and the fact that Nielsen tabulates based on time slot, not program.