Thanks to the season premiere of Lost, ABC won Wednesday night handily with a 5.5/15 in the 18-49 demo, according to Nielsen overnight numbers, but Lost was way down from its last-season premiere.
Lost averaged a 7.5/19 at 9-10, the night's top show by far but down about 25% from the 10 rating/24 share it generated for last season's premiere. The debut of ABC drama, The Nine, lost a lot of that lead-in, coming in second in its 10-11 p.m. time period with a 4.6/13.
NBC's re-run of critically acclaimed but little viewed high school football drama Friday Night Lights (it debuted Tuesday night) barely flickered, averaging a netlet-like 1.7/5 and beaten at 8-9 by all the Big Three as well as by The CW, which averaged a strong 2.7/8 with Next Top Model, tying Fox for fourth in the time period.
Friday Night Lights averaged a 2.7/8 in its Tuesday night debut and NBC was looking for some additional sampling on Tuesday. Jay Ireland, head of the NBC-owned stations, has said that it is imperative for shows to get that initial sampling.
NBC's drama Kidnapped, which it has already wrapped production on, continued its slide from a debut 2.8/8 to a 2.1/6 last week and a 1.8/5 Wednesday night.
CBS took second on the night in the 18-49 demo with a 4.1/11 on the strength of forensic dramas Criminal Minds and CSI: NY. CBS' apocalyptic Jericho at a 3.4/10 at 8 p.m.was down from last week's 3.6/11, but up from its debut numbers (3.6/11). It came in second in its time period behind ABC's Dancing With the Stars (4.4/13)
Fox was third with a 3/8, its top show a re-run of House at 9.
NBC edged out The CW with a 2.2/6 to the new network's 2.1/6.