By James Hibberd
Updated September 16, 2011 at 03:23 PM EDT
Secret Circle
Credit: Sergei Bachlakov/CBS

How did The CW’s new Thursday block pairing returning hit The Vampire Diaries and newcomer The Secret Circle do in the ratings?

Not too shabby. Though Vampire Diaries (3 million viewers, 1.4 adults 18-49 rating) dipped from its premiere last year, The Secret Circle (3 million, 1.3) retained nearly all of its lead in from the network’s top-rated show. VD was down a pretty standard annual dip of 13 percent from last year’s debut. Secret Circle was down a tenth from Nikita‘s debut in the slot last year in the adult demo, but tied Nikita in the network’s 18-34 target demo (and with its stronger lead-in, the witchcraft drama managed to pull a higher number than Ringer‘s premiere on Tuesday).

Overall: Both numbers are considered solid CW ratings for your typical weeks, though one hopes the network can maintain these levels in the weeks to come once rivals unleash their shows.

Meanwhile, over on NBC, the network picked up some additional sampling for new comedies Up All Night (1.0) and Free Agents (1.1), airing repeats of their pilots inside their Thursday block.

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