James Hibberd
October 16, 2012 AT 03:29 PM EDT

NBC’s Revolution‘s ratings surged Monday night thanks to … to …

Not sure, exactly. But this is definitely good news for the post-apocalyptic drama. Revolution delivered 8.8 million viewers and a 3.4 rating, reversing its gradual downward-ebbing trend. That’s up 13 percent from last week and marks a three-week high for the show.

Revolutions‘s powerful lead-in The Voice (12.8 million, 4.6) was perfectly steady with last week’s rating, so that didn’t boost it. Both of Revolution‘s 10 p.m. rivals — CBS’ Hawaii Five-0 (8.4 million, 2.0), up 5 percent, and ABC’s Castle (10.9 million, 2.0), down 9 percent — aired original episodes, so there wasn’t softer competition last night. In fact, you could say there was more competition since Fox (which normally doesn’t program 10 p.m.) had baseball playoffs going late into primetime. So can we credit Revolution itself for this gain then? “I don’t know of any artificial reason for the increase, looks legitimate to me,” one network ratings analyst emailed.

Revolution was a big swing that many us thought would open to a sizable number, but we worried whether the J.J. Abrams-produced drama could sustain itself given the track record in recent years of other serialized high-concept sci-fi shows like The Event, Alcatraz, FlashForward and V. Revolution does, however, have one very important thing going for it: It’s better than those shows. Wondering, long shot, but … could the massive ratings enjoyed by AMC’s post-apocalyptic The Walking Dead premiere Sunday night put some viewers into the mood to check out Revolution?

Also, NBC just put out an announcement: For the first time in 10 years, the network has won the first three weeks of the broadcast season in the adult demo. Moment of silence for this milestone … now back to Monday’s rundown.

Revolution wasn’t the only show to rise last night. The CW’s 90210 (1.1 million, 0.6), after last week’s disappointing premiere rating, popped 50 percent (yes, the ratings were modest to begin with, but still…50 percent is 50 percent). Too bad that rise didn’t help 9 p.m.’s Gossip Girl (762,000, 0.4), the ratings for which confirm the show is ready to wrap things up.

CBS’ comedy block show some mild gains, too, but there was some NFL preemptions that make the network’s early numbers unreliable. Lets just say they were all within 7 percent of last week.

ABC’s Dancing With the Stars (13.5 million, 2.1) was down 5 percent despite Paula Abdul guest starring.

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