Mandi Bierly
January 07, 2009 AT 12:00 PM EST

Clearly, Tuesday is still all about CBS: The Mentalist grabbed a season high 19.6 million viewers and, should overnight numbers hold, also nabbed the title of Night’s Top Program away from its lead-in, NCIS (19.1 million). But figuratively, at least, all eyes were on ABC’s eighth season premiere of the NBC castoff Scrubs. Back-to-back episodes, featuring guest star Courteney Cox (pictured), were seen by 6.8 and 6.6 million people, respectively. That’s shy of its season 7 premiere on ABC (7 million), but above its 7th season average (5.8 million). Though fans are no doubt questioning the comedy’s compatibility with its lead-in, Homeland Security USA (7.8 million), and lead-out, What Would You Do? (7 million), they can take heart in knowing that Scrubs did hit the 18-49 demo rating that creator Bill Lawrence told EW’s Michael Ausiello he believed would keep the network happy. We’ve also received a press release from ABC noting that Scrubs was Tuesday’s No. 1 show among “hard-to-reach men 18-34,” and, best of all, our TV critic, Ken Tucker, liked what he saw.

NBC also has reason to smile this morning: The two-hour season premiere of The Biggest Loser: Couples averaged 11.8 million viewers, which matches the December finale of the Families edition (and betters that season’s premiere by nearly four million). Below, the overnight numbers for Tuesday.



Time Show Viewers (in millions)
8:00 p.m. NCIS (CBS)
The Biggest Loser: Couples (NBC)
Homeland Security USA (ABC)
House (Fox)
90210 (The CW)
5.6 (repeat)
9:00 The Mentalist (CBS)
Scrubs (ABC)
Fringe (Fox)
Privileged (The CW)
3.7 (repeat)
9:30 Scrubs (ABC) 6.6
10:00 Without a Trace (CBS)
Law & Order: SVU (NBC)
What Would You Do? (ABC)

For those interested in Monday’s numbers, which were delayed by Nielsen until this morning, the two-hour premiere of The Bachelor averaged 8.7 million viewers. That bests the premieres of the previous Bachelor with Brit Matt Grant (8.6 million) and The Bachelorette with DeAnna Pappas (8.1 million). As for the premiere of ABC’s Ashton Kutcher-Tyra Banks’ produced reality show True Beauty, it held on to 88 percent of its Bachelor lead-in with 7.6 million viewers.

More TV news:

Ken Tucker’s watching Scrubs

Ausiello Exclusive: Scrubs boss (sorta) spoils series finale

Amy Wilkinson recaps The Biggest Loser: Couples premiere

NCIS: Okay, now I get it

Kristen Baldwin recaps The Bachelor premiere

Bachelor host Chris Harrison blogs the premiere

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