Primetime Ratings: ‘CSI' Premiere Drops By Nearly 40%

'Grey's' debut down from last year, 'FlashForward' premieres strong for ABC

The season premiere of CBS' CSI Thursday night delivered a 4.0 rating/10 share in the 18-49 demo and 15.7 million total viewers in the 9 p.m. time slot, losing out to the first hour of ABC's Grey's Anatomy season premiere (6.6/17, 17.1 million viewers). CSI's rating is far lower than last fall's premiere which drew 7.0/17 with 22.9 million viewers.

Grey's won the 10 p.m. hour as well with a 6.6/18 with 16.5 million viewers. Last year's season premiere delivered a 7.4/18 with 18.5 million viewers.

The series premiere of ABC's FlashForward won the opening time slot with a 4.1/12 and 12.4 million viewers. While those numbers were strong enough for a first-place finish, they were much lower than the series premiere of Lost, a show FlashForward has been compared to, which launched huge with a 6.8/20 and 18.7 million viewers back in 2004. By comparison, Fox's Fringe opened modestly last year with a 5.9/9 for Fox, eventually growing into a hit.

The night's other premiere, CBS' The Mentalist, came in just lower than its debut last year, with a 3.4/9 and 14.3 million viewers compared to last season's 3.5/9 and 15.6 million tuning in.

After FlashForward's leading performance at 8 was CBS' Survivor which pulled a 3.7/11 and 11.9 million viewers, up from last weeks premiere numbers (3.5/11, 11.5 million). NBC's block of SNL Weekend Update (1.8/5) and Parks and Recreation (1.8/5) averaged a 1.8/5. Both shows fell from last week's debut numbers. Fox was fourth with Bones at 2.3/6, down from its 3.0/9 debut. The CW's Vampire Diaries was fifth with a 1.7/5.

At 9 Grey's finished first, followed by CSI. NBC was next at 3.3/8 for The Office (3.8/10) and Community (2.8/7). The Office premiered last week at 4.0/11 while Community started at 3.7/10. Fox' Fringe dipped from its 2.9/8 debut rating last week to a fourth place 2.3/6. The CW's Supernatural came in at 1.7/5.

The 10 p.m. hour was led by the second hour of Grey's, followed by The Mentalist. NBC's Jay Leno Show was third at 1.7/5.

On the night ABC won with a 5.8/16 and 15.3 million viewers. CBS was next at 3.7/10 and 13.9 million tuning in. Fox finished third with a 2.5/7, followed by NBC at 2.2/6. The CW finished fifth at 1.4/4.