By Mandi Bierly
September 16, 2009 at 05:54 PM EDT

The Jay Leno Show dropped 42 percent of its premiere audience on Tuesday — or roughly 7.5 million viewers, according to preliminary numbers. Night 2 of Leno’s prime-time NBC talker averaged 10.7 million viewers as the show went up against the last half of Big Brother‘s two-hour season finale and Barbara Walters’ repackaged sit-down with Patrick Swayze. However, last night’s Leno did outperform former time slot holder Law & Order: SVU, which averaged 9.3 million viewers least season Tuesdays at 10 p.m.

The CW’s rebooted Melrose Place also shed viewers in its second outing, down 21 percent from last week’s series debut, according to overnight numbers, while 90210s ratings held strong. Meanwhile, The Biggest Loser returned to NBC with a two-hour season opener that averaged 9.9 million viewers (but rose to 10.5 million by the last half hour). Fox’s plus-sized Bachelor experiment, More to Love, ended its first season with a two-hour finale that averaged 4.3 million viewers, peaking at 5.2 million for its final 30 minutes.

Time Show Viewers (in millions)
8 p.m. NCIS (CBS)

The Biggest Loser (NBC)

More to Love (Fox)

Shark Tank (ABC)

90210 (The CW)

12.0 (repeat)



3.6 (repeat)


9 p.m. Big Brother 11 (CBS)

Shaq Vs. (ABC)

Melrose Place (The CW)




10 p.m. The Jay Leno Show (NBC)

Barbara Walters Special: Patrick Swayze: Last Dance (ABC)


6.1 (repeat)

Read more:

Ken Tucker on Leno’s Night 2

Josh Wolk recaps the Big Brother season finale

Darren Franich recaps The Biggest Loser‘s season premiere

Jennifer Armstrong recaps 90210

Wendy Mitchell recaps Melrose Place

Michael Slezak recaps the More to Love finale

Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz on ‘Leno’: Count the awkward pauses!