The Peacock net topped the pecking order for the key 19-49 demo Tuesday in the Nielsen overnight ratings on the strength of Law & Order: SVU, the night's top-rated show at a 5.9 rating/15 share, and My Name Is Earl, at a 5.8/14. NBC averaged a 4.7/12 for the night.
That was the good news. Harder to swallow for NBC was the fact that its premiere of Fear Factor came in third among the Big Three at 8-9, including losing out to a repeat of NCIS on CBS.
NBC had been promoting the show as one with more viewer interaction and less eating of disgusting things.
CBS took second place, thanks to Amazing Race (4.1/10) and the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show (3.9/10).
ABC was a close third with a 3.7/9, powered by the evergreen A Charlie Brown Christmas, which, despite having aired for four decades and being in many home video and DVD libraries, managed to be the third-highest rated show of the night at a 5.5/15, crushing the first half-hour of the jiggy, down-with-it folks at Fox's Billboard Music Awards (2.9/8) and spanking Fear Factor's first half-hour as well.
ABC got only so-so performances out of Commander in Chief (2.9/7) and a wild episode of Boston Legal (see bcbeat.com), which averaged a 2.7/7.
Fox was fourth with a 3.2/8 for its two-hour awards show.
With two hours worth of Next Top Model repeats, UPN, with a 1.3/3, just nipped The WB (1.2/3) and its reruns of dramas Gilmore Girls and Supernatural.