Vampire Diaries turned out to be the fall premiere the CW can sink its teeth into. The show set a series debut record among women 18-34 (3.0/10) and women 18-49 (2.8/8). Its 2.1/6 number in the 18-49 demo and 4.8 million viewer total were the highest for the network since October 2007. The CW finished third overall on the night with a 1.7/5.
NBC was way out in front of the competition overall with their coverage of the first NFL regular season game, between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Tennessee Titans. The game averaged a 5.9/18 rating and 15.9 million viewers in the 8 p.m. hour. CBS was next at 2.6/8 for Big Brother, followed by the CW's impressive debut for Vampire Diaries. Fox was fourth with a 1.2/4 for a rerun of Bones. A Grey's Anatomy rerun on ABC delivered a 1.1/3.
NBC hit the night's top marks at 9 p.m. with a 7.8/21 and 20 million viewers tuning into the football game. The CW and CBS tied for second at 1.4/4. The CW aired the fifth season premiere of the Supernatural. CBS countered with a rerun of CSI. Another Grey's rerun pulled a 1.3/4 for ABC. Fox was fifth at 1.1/3 for a rerun of Fringe.
At 10 NBC stayed way ahead with a 7.3/20 and 17.3 million viewers. CBS' Mentalist rerun was next at 1.9/5. ABC was third at 1.0/3 for a rerun of Private Practice.
NBC dominated the night with a 7.0/20 average and 17.8 million tuning in. CBS was second at 1.9/5, followed by the CW's strongest Thursday night showing in viewers since September 2008 at 1.7/5. Fox came in at 1.2/3. ABC was fifth with a 1.1/3.