NBC averaged a 4.9 rating/8 share for the night, beating out FOX’s 3.8/6. CBS took third with a 3.5/6. The CW’s premieres scored a 2.2/3 to move the network out of its usual fifth-place spot. That dubious spot belonged to ABC, which managed only a 1.8/3.
FOX snagged the top spot among adults 18-49 with a 2.6 rating. NBC finished second at 2.2. CBS and The CW tied for third at 1.6, and ABC trailed at 0.7.
Deal or No Deal‘s first million-dollar winner drew a 6.8/11 for NBC at 8 p.m. The season premiere of Prison Break, 3.6/6, put FOX in second. Reruns of The Big Bang Theory and How I Met Your Mother averaged 3.0/5 for CBS. Gossip Girl opened its second season with a 2.3/4, in line with the series debut last year. ABC’s High School Musical: Get in the Picture brought up the rear.
CBS led in households at 9 p.m., averaging 4.6/7 with Two and a Half Men and The New Adventures of Old Christine. NBC, however, had more total viewers with America’s Toughest Jobs (4.3/7), while Prison Break improved to 4.0/6 in its second hour (and led among adults 18-49). One Tree Hill began its season with a 2.1/3, beating an hour of Samantha Who? reruns on ABC.
Each of the Big Three networks switched to coverage of Hurricane Gustav at 10 p.m. NBC led the way at 3.5/6, followed by CBS, 2.8/5, and ABC, 2.3/4.
Ratings information is taken from fast national data, which includes live and same-day DVR viewing. All numbers are preliminary and subject to change.