By James Hibberd
Updated September 21, 2011 at 03:29 PM EDT
Credit: Fox

Zooey Deschanel charmed the pants off Fox viewers Tuesday night, delivering a truly impressive premiere rating for her comedy New Girl and debuting as the top-rated show on an ultra-competitive night. There’s also the second week of numbers for Sarah Michelle Geller’s Ringer and the premieres for Body of Proof, Unforgettable, Parenthood and more.

New Girl was seen by 10.1 million viewers at 9 p.m. and delivered a strong 4.7 adults 18-49 rating. That’s the highest-rated fall sitcom premiere on Fox since The Bernie Mac Show 10 years ago. What’s particularly impressive about this number is how much the comedy built from its Glee third season premiere lead-in. Glee (8.9 million, 3.8) was down 32 percent from its first episode last fall, yet New Girl was up a whopping 52 percent from the debut of Raising Hope in its slot last year. Speaking of Hope (6.8 million, 3.1), the second season of the comedy successfully matched its first season premiere rating at 9:30 p.m.

CBS ranked a strong second place, with NCIS (19.5 million, 4.2) and NCIS: LA (16.7 million, 3.6) both bucking the usual broadcast trend and growing about 5 percent from last fall. The duo helped new crime drama Unforgettable (14 million, 2.9) open solid and conquer 10 p.m. — plus the show was up 16 percent from the premiere of Good Wife in the time period last year.

ABC’s Dancing With the Stars (14.5 million, 2.8) slump compared to last fall continued, with its results show down 36 percent from last year. The return of Dana Delany’s Body of Proof (9.7 million, 2.3) tied the modest debut of Detroit 1-8-7 in the slot last fall and still managed second place in the hour, though was down 26 percent from its midseason debut earlier this year.

NBC rolled out The Biggest Loser (6.1 million, 2.3) with its new trainers, including Anna Kournikova, but the reality show took a 21 percent hit from last year. At 10 p.m., Parenthood (5.3 million, 2.1) nearly matched last fall’s debut.

On The CW, the network’s Tuesday dramas took a hit with all the added competition: 90210 (1.6 million, 0.7) was down 22 percent from its premiere; Ringer (2 million, 0.9) dropped 18 percent.

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