ABC danced away with a Wednesday-night victory in the primetime race, with an hour and a half of Dancing With the Stars to thank. Dancing got a 5.1 rating/14 share in the key 18-49 demo, according to Nielsen overnight numbers, increasing its rating numbers every half-hour, from a 4.6 to a 5.2 to a 5.7. But the news wasn't as good for new Ted Danson sitcom Help Me Help You, which sank to a 3.1/8 from its series-premiere 3.6/9.
Two hours of Law & Order (Criminal Intent from 9-10 and SVU from 10-11) helped NBC to a close second-place finish. Criminal Intent scored a 4.1/11) and SVUcame in at a 5.2/14. The network's series premiere of Friday Night Lights, however, only managed a 2.7/8 from 8-10, crushed by ABC's Dancing With the Stars (4.9/14 in its first hour of an hour-and-a-half run) and CBS' NCIS (4.0/11). The Peacock scored a 4.0/11 overall.
CBS was third with a 3.6/10. New show Smith was third in its 10-11 time slot, with a 2.8/8 behind ABC's Boston Legal (2.9/8) and L&O.
Fox batted a 2.5/7 for a pre-game baseball match between the Yankees and the Tigers.
And The CW came in at a 1.7/5 for Gilmore Girls (2.0/6) and the series premiere of Veronica Mars (1.4/4).