TV | Inside TV

Ratings: 'Chuck,' 'Life' premieres take a nosedive

Damienzachary_l_2

Damienzachary_l_2 Absence didn’t make the heart grow fonder for fans of NBC’s Chuck (pictured near left: Zachary Levy) and Life (pictured: Damian Lewis). The two series, which had been off the air since January 2008 and December 2007, respectively, returned Monday night to disappointing numbers for their second season premieres. According to overnight ratings, Chuck nabbed 6.6 million viewers, down 28 percent from last fall’s debut and off 17 percent from its season 1 average. Life’s bow was seen by 6.9 million viewers, down 30 percent from its ‘07 debut and a 7 percent decline from its freshman average. The true test for Life, however, which aired Wednesdays last fall, will be when it debuts in its new time slot this Friday at 10 p.m. ET.

Heroes lost viewers as well — about 750,000 of them from last week’s two-hour season 3 premiere. This week’s episode was viewed by 9.3 million, though that number will, of course, rise when DVR viewings from the next few days are factored in.

To no one’s surprise, ABC dominated the night, with the start of Dancing With the Stars Week 2. Two hours of paso dobles and rumbas were witnessed by 19.3 million viewers, down 10 percent from the season opener. While Boston Legal only retained roughly half of that audience, it’s 9.8 million viewers actually improved on its season premiere by 11 percent (though it did lose 874,000 viewers in its second half hour).

The CBS lineup also showed the to-be-expected post-premiere-week drops: 8.7 million viewers tuned in for the second episode of The Big Bang Theory (down 7 percent from the premiere); 8.8 million for How I Met Your Mother (down 10 percent); 13.8 million for Two and a Half Men (down 8 percent); 9.3 million for the freshman sitcom Worst Week (down 14 percent); and 14.3 million for CSI: Miami (down 17 percent). On the plus side, CSI: Miami won the 10 p.m. hour, as usual, and all of the returning shows are up from their last-season average.

It’s difficult to find a positive spin for Fox’s Monday offerings. Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles and Prison Break, both of which premiered early in September, each nabbed an identical 5.3 million viewers last night. That number is well below the shows’ ‘07-‘08 averages, 9.8 million and 7.5 million, respectively. What’s more, each episode of Prison Break this season has been rated lower than the one that came before it.

The CW, meanwhile, does have reason to celebrate: One Tree Hill’s fifth episode of season 6 was also its highest-rated, with 3.4 million viewers. And Gossip Girl, which hit a series high on Sept. 15 (3.7 million) before sliding back on Sept. 22 (3.3 million), was once again moving in the right direction this week with 3.5 million viewers.

addCredit(“Michael Caulfield/WireImage”)

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The CBS lineup also showed the to-be-expected post-premiere-week drops: 8.7 million viewers tuned in for the second episode of The Big Bang Theory (down 7 percent from the premiere); 8.8 million for How I Met Your Mother (down 10 percent); 13.8 million for Two and a Half Men (down 8 percent); 9.3 million for the freshman sitcom Worst Week (down 14 percent); and 14.3 million for CSI: Miami (down 17 percent). On the plus side, CSI: Miami won the 10 p.m. hour, as usual, and all of the returning shows are up from their last-season average.

It’s difficult to find a positive spin for Fox’s Monday offerings. Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles and Prison Break, both of which premiered early in September, each nabbed an identical 5.3 million viewers last night. That number is well below the shows’ ‘07-‘08 averages, 9.8 million and 7.5 million, respectively. What’s more, each episode of Prison Break this season has been rated lower than the one that came before it.

The CW, meanwhile, does have reason to celebrate: One Tree Hill’s fifth episode of season 6 was also its highest-rated, with 3.4 million viewers. And Gossip Girl, which hit a series high on Sept. 15 (3.7 million) before sliding back on Sept. 22 (3.3 million), was once again moving in the right direction this week with 3.5 million viewers.

addCredit(“Michael Caulfield/WireImage”)

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE:

EW’s Dancing With the Stars recap

EW’s Heroes recap

EW’s Gossip Girl recap

PopWatch Interview: Ali Larter on her Heroes transformation

Ausiello Exclusive: Another Boston Legal Vet Returns

The Spying Game: 30 Elite TV/Movie Operatives

SPOILER: About that thing that happened on One Tree Hill last night

Originally posted September 30 2008 — 8:11 PM EDT

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