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Ratings: Debuts of 'Pushing Daisies,' 'Private Practice,' 'Dirty Sexy Money' take a hit

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As we learned on Monday, when we saw low numbers for the returns of NBC’s Chuck (down 26 percent compared to last season’s premiere) and Life (down 30 percent), after long, strike-induced hiatuses, it’s “out of sight, out of mind” for some TV viewers. ABC got a taste of that Wednesday night with the return of Pushing Daisies, Private Practice, and Dirty Sexy Money — all of which had been off the air since December 2007.

According to overnight ratings, Daisies (pictured: Lee Pace) grabbed 6.3 million viewers, down from its season 1 debut (13 million), its season 1 average (8.8 million), and its last original episode (6.8 million). It finished fourth in the 8 p.m. hour, behind Fox’s solid Bones (9.8 million), a Wednesday night new comer that continues to out-perform its averages in last season’s Monday and Tuesday time slots. Daisies also trailed NBC’s Knight Rider (7.6 million), which actually grew its audience by about a million over the course of the hour and bested last week’s season premiere by 3 percent, and CBS’s comedy block of The New Adventures of Old Christine and Gary Unmarried. Christine‘s 6.9 million viewers is a 6 percent improvement from its season premiere, but a 31 percent drop from last season’s average. Jay Mohr‘s Gary Unmarried (7 million) once again built on its lead-in, and was up 2 percent from its series debut. America’s Next Top Model rounded out the hour with 4 million viewers.

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Moving on to the 9 p.m. hour, Private Practice came in third

with 8 million viewers. That’s down from last year’s debut (14.4

million), last season’s average (9.9 million), and its last original

episode (10.4 million) back in December ’07. As ABC is quick to note, however, Practice was

Wednesday night’s top show among adults 18-34 and the key women demos

(18-34 and 18-49). Still, it was CBS’ Criminal Minds that won the hour with

14.5 million viewers, down 15 percent from last week’s season premiere

but still up 21 percent from last season’s average. In second place was the season finale of NBC’s America’s Got Talent, which averaged

12.6 million viewers but naturally grew its audience in the second half

hour (from 11.7 million to 13.4 million). Fox came in fourth with a

block of two new ‘Til Death episodes. The first was seen by 4.7

million viewers, the second by 3.9 million. (FYI: That latter number is

still 276,000 more than what tuned in for the last episode of former

9:30 p.m. time slot holder Do Not Disturb.) The CW had 1.7 million sets of eyes for its encore of Tuesday’s 90210.

As for the 10 p.m., Dirty Sexy Money returned to 7.1 million

viewers to finish second. That’s down from the season 1 premiere (10.4

million) and last season’s average (7.4 million) but actually up 6

percent from its last original episode (6.7 million), which aired in December. CBS’ CSI:NY

dominated the hour with 14.7 million viewers, up about 80,000 viewers

from last week’s season debut and 33 percent from last season’s

average. NBC’s Lipstick Jungle brought up the rear with 5.3

million viewers, down 15 percent from last week’s season opener and 14

percent from its freshman average, when it aired Thursdays.

Daisies, Practice, and Money will likely see their numbers rise somewhat once DVR usage reports come in — though probably no more than about 10 percent. “I wouldn’t put those ABC shows in the strong category,” a rival network exec said.

Related content:

Ausiello’s Pushing Daisies scoop

Ausiello’s Private Practice scoop

Dirty Sexy Money behind-the-scenes photos

Dirty Sexy Money recap 

America’s Next Top Model recap

America’s Got Talent recap

Pop Culture Q&A with Bones‘ David Boreanaz

Inside Look: Knight Rider

Moving on to the 9 p.m. hour, Private Practice came in thirdwith 8 million viewers. That’s down from last year’s debut (14.4million), last season’s average (9.9 million), and its last originalepisode (10.4 million) back in December ’07. As ABC is quick to note, however, Practice wasWednesday night’s top show among adults 18-34 and the key women demos(18-34 and 18-49). Still, it was CBS’ Criminal Minds that won the hour with14.5 million viewers, down 15 percent from last week’s season premierebut still up 21 percent from last season’s average. In second place was the season finale of NBC’s America’s Got Talent, which averaged12.6 million viewers but naturally grew its audience in the second halfhour (from 11.7 million to 13.4 million). Fox came in fourth with ablock of two new ‘Til Death episodes. The first was seen by 4.7million viewers, the second by 3.9 million. (FYI: That latter number isstill 276,000 more than what tuned in for the last episode of former9:30 p.m. time slot holder Do Not Disturb.) The CW had 1.7 million sets of eyes for its encore of Tuesday’s 90210.

As for the 10 p.m., Dirty Sexy Money returned to 7.1 millionviewers to finish second. That’s down from the season 1 premiere (10.4million) and last season’s average (7.4 million) but actually up 6percent from its last original episode (6.7 million), which aired in December. CBS’ CSI:NYdominated the hour with 14.7 million viewers, up about 80,000 viewersfrom last week’s season debut and 33 percent from last season’saverage. NBC’s Lipstick Jungle brought up the rear with 5.3million viewers, down 15 percent from last week’s season opener and 14percent from its freshman average, when it aired Thursdays.

Daisies, Practice, and Money will likely see their numbers rise somewhat once DVR usage reports come in — though probably no more than about 10 percent. “I wouldn’t put those ABC shows in the strong category,” a rival network exec said.

Related content:

Ausiello’s Pushing Daisies scoop

Ausiello’s Private Practice scoop

Dirty Sexy Money behind-the-scenes photos

Dirty Sexy Money recap 

America’s Next Top Model recap

America’s Got Talent recap

Pop Culture Q&A with Bones‘ David Boreanaz

Inside Look: Knight Rider

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