September 19, 2008 at 11:10 PM EDT

On the final Thursday before the season premieres of higher profile series such as Grey’s Anatomy, The Office, and Survivor, the CW’s Supernatural made some news of its own. The show’s season 4 opener drew an average of 4 million viewers in the overnights, up a whopping 33 percent from its season 3 premiere last fall. (If you’re among the newcomers who flocked to the show last night, be sure to check out our Supernatural season-premiere recap, and our gallery of EWwy nominees, including series star Jensen Ackles.) Supernatural‘s time-slot lead-in, Smallville, on the other hand, drew 4.4 million viewers for its season 8 premiere, a figure about 800,000 less than what it drew for its 2007 opener.

The news was good for another lower profile series, CBS’ Flashpoint — starring Veronica Mars dad Enrico Colantoni — which averaged a series-high 9.7 million viewers in the overnights. Flashpoint held onto 95 percent of the lead-in audience from a repeat episode of powerhouse CSI (10.2 million) and subsequently earned itself a 13-episode pickup by the network this afternoon.

Still, Flashpoint couldn’t stake a claim as the night’s biggest draw among first-run programs, as it averaged a mere 100,000 fewer viewers than the half-hour results show of NBC’s America’s Got Talent (9.8 million). (Read our recap of last night’s show, and every episode this season, at PopWatch’s America’s Got Talent page.)

Finally, over at Fox, viewers seemed to prefer angry culinary antics to human Tetris, as Kitchen Nightmares‘ audience of 6.1 million grew a hefty 30 percent out of lead-in Hole in the Wall (4.7 million).

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