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This Is Us stays strong for second episode

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Ron Batzdorff/NBC

That sound you’re hearing is a bunch of NBC executives all exhaling a huge sigh of relief: This Is Us retained impressively strong ratings for its second episode Tuesday night. 

Fall’s top-rated new show (so far) had 8.8 million viewers and a 2.6 rating among adults 18-49 last night, down only 7 percent from its premiere at 10 p.m. (down 7 percent is considered very good — most shows drop more, as you’ll see below). Lead-in The Voice (11.8 million, 3.2) fell a similar 6 percent. So far This Is Us episodes have delivered the two highest ratings of any new dramas this fall and topped every non-Voice show on last night. NBC bet that This Is Us would maintain its strength, giving the dramedy a rather early full season order yesterday. 

Meanwhile, the second season of Fox’s Scream Queens (1.8 million, 0.8) continued its Wilhelm Scream off the ratings cliff at 9 p.m.; down 20 percent to rank as the night’s lowest-rated show on a major broadcast network. 

Another returning drama having a tough time is ABC’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (3.1 million, 0.9), down 18 percent at 10 p.m.

CBS’ new legal drama Bull (13.5 million, 1.9) fell 14 percent in its second week — CBS would surely like to see the new 9 p.m series at least retaining its NCIS lead-in (15.2 million, 2.1).  

RELATED: Breaking down episode 2 of This is Us

Here are a few quick adult demo numbers for context: ABC’s Dancing (1.3), Fox’s Brooklyn Nine-Nine (1.0), New Girl (1.0), CBS’ NCIS: New Orleans (1.5).

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