ABC will be happy with the performance of its dancing stars Thursday night. The premiere of the second installment of Dancing With the Stars averaged a 4.7/12 (a 4.8 rating when the final numbers came in) at 8-10 and powered the network to a 4.1/11 for the night in Nielsen Fast Affilate ratings for the 18-49 demo.
Given that the network has needed help on the night, pulling in rating averages in the less-than-stellar 2-and-change range with shows like Alias and the now-defunct Night Stalker, Dancing is cause for kicking up its heels.
The first hour of Dancing did manage to edge out a repeat of CSI at 8-9. But the dancers were no match head-to-furry-head with the forensic sleuths over at CSI at 9, where an original episode about a "wolfman" averaged a 9.3/23 to a 4.9/12 for Dancing's second hour.
ABC says that the show beat its initial debut back in June by 9% in adults 18-49 and produced the largest program with regular audiences in over five years.
NBC was second behind CBS on the night with a 5/13, thanks to a new ER at 10 (6.2/16) and the sitcom My Name Is Earl at 9 (5.2/13).
After ABC came Fox with a 2.2/6 for movie The Hot Chick, followed by Univision soaps at a 1.8/5. The WB averaged a 1/3 for sixth place with repeats of Smallville and Beauty & the Geek, while UPN was seventh at a .8/2 for repeats of its sitcom lineup.