The juggernaut of adorableness that is Zooey Deschanel steamrolled over its competition and attracted 10.3 million Americans Tuesday night, thanks to the premiere of the actress’ Fox comedy, New Girl.
Despite leading out of a slackening Glee, New Girl put up huge demo numbers at 9 p.m., winning the night with a 4.8 rating and a 12 share among the 18-49 demo. (For the sake of comparison, the greybeard fave NCIS drew 20 million total viewers on CBS at 8 p.m., but notched a 4.3/12 in the demo.)
Like a basketful of puppies and rainbows and unicorns, Deschanel’s myriad charms and indie fan base helped New Girl expand on its Glee opener. Kicking off its third season in the 8 p.m. slot, Glee is showing some wear and tear, averaging 9.21 million viewers and a 4.0/11 demo, down from 12.3 million viewers and a 5.5/15 rating in its Season 2 premiere.
Per final Nielsen live-plus-same-day data, New Girl improved on its lead-in by 12 percent.
While we’re piling on the Zooey love, it’s worth noting that New Girl managed to put up those big numbers despite the fact that the premiere episode has been available via on-demand, iTunes, and TiVO since Sept. 6.
Also premiering last night was the Poppy Montgomery procedural Unforgettable. CBS’ drama about a hyperthymesitic cop averaged 14.1 million viewers and a 2.9/8 rating in the demo at 10 p.m., retaining 84 percent of its NCIS: Los Angeles lead-in.
CBS walked away with the reach crown, averaging 16.7 million viewers, and while Fox averaged around half that delivery from 8-10 p.m., it won the night in the demo, racking up a 3.9/10 to CBS’ 3.6/9.
Back for its second episode, the CW’s Ringer endured slippage within the expected margins, falling 25 percent with viewers 18-49 (0.9/2) and slipping 19 percent with a 1.3 rating among the net’s target demo, women 18-34.
Total viewers fell 29 percent to 1.94 million.
Other programs of note include the Dancing With the Stars cast intro/results show on ABC, which averaged 12.9 million viewers and a 2.5/7 in the demo. In head-to-head competition, the season opener of NBC’s The Biggest Loser drew 6.17 million viewers and a 2.3/6 demo, down 21 percent from last fall’s opener.