Geraldmcraney_jericho_240 FOX’s Vanished wasn’t nearly as good as NBC’s Kidnapped, but the FOX serialized drama made it on the air first and now both shows are struggling. Was it mutual assured destruction?

NBC’s moody, star-studded abduction series premiered on Wednesday (Sept. 20) and — no thanks to the flabby performance of the latest installment of The Biggest LoserKidnapped barely made a ratings dent. If NBC got the night’s bad news, The CW and CBS found things to smile at. Some selected numbers from the night:

  • Kidnapped: 7.59 million viewers and a 2.8 rating among adults 18-49. Those figures compare poorly to the 16.11 million CSI: NY viewers and to the CBS procedural’s 5.0 demographic rating. Even last season’s bruised and battered Law & Order did far better in this time period. Does Kidnapped have a move to Friday in its future? We suspect so.
  • Criminal Minds: Just as CSI: NY was up from its premieres last year (2.77 million viewers and 11 percent 18-49), CBS was pleased with the gains for the Mandy Patinkin procedural, which drew 15.65 million viewers (up 48 percent from last September’s premiere) and a 4.5 demo tally (up 36 percent), winning its hour in both measures.
  • Jericho: While not exactly an out-of-the-box hit, CBS had lower expectations for Jericho than for Tuesday night’s Smith, so the similar ratings get a different spin. Jericho played to 11.66 million viewers (compared to the 11 million for Smith) and a 3.4 demo rating (Smith had a 3.6) and CBS is eager to boast that Jericho offered a 71 percent audience boost on the returns for comedies Still Standing and Yes Dear in the same slot last year.
  • Christian_240America’s Next Top Model: The CW’s first official night of broadcasting saw the modeling reality show average 5.26 million viewers over its two hours along with a 2.6 demo rating. The demo figure was an all-time high for ANTM premiere, which it was the show’s second most watched opening. The CW was able to boast about winning the night among adults 18-34 and women 18-34, particularly impressive given that — as the network noted in a press release — more than two-thirds of ANTM’s faithful UPN fans had to seek out a new network destination.
  • Does anything surprise you about the Wednesday figures? Does NBC need to reshuffle the deck already?

    Posted by:Daniel Fienberg