Thursday TV's Best Dead Denny Impersonator: ABC's Grey's Anatomy (13.7 million viewers, per Nielsen estimates), which got totally killed by Fox's college football championship game (26 million, from about 8-11 p.m.), but wasn't totally dead.
The Grey's Bad: The series was down about 1.5 million viewers from its last new episode. Also, it was beat—bad—by football in the 9 p.m. hour among adults 18-49.
The Grey's Good: On a night where nobody won anything unless you were on the field with Tim Tebow, the show stole the women's vote at 9 p.m., scoring demo wins among women 18-49, 18-34 and 25-54. (Teen girls sided with football.)
Thursday TV's Big Mystery: Was Private Practice's post-Grey's debut a success or not? On one hand, the ABC spinoff beat the other dramas at 10 p.m. in total viewers and the 18-49 demo. On the other hand, its audience (9.1 million) wasn't all that bigger than the show than the time-slot's former occupant, Life on Mars (8.6 million). On the hand that actually counts, ABC boasted that Private Practice did a better job than its predessor at holding onto—meaning, losing less of—Grey's audience.
Thursday TV's Other Big Mystery: Why did NBC lead into a new episode of 30 Rock (5.2 million) with a rerun of The Office (4.7 million)? 30 Rock's throwback, pre-Sarah Palin-era performance came complete with a fourth-place finish in the 18-49 demo.
Also-Rans: ABC's Ugly Betty (7.5 million) didn't do much at 8 p.m., but it did more than NBC's My Name Is Earl (5.5 million) and Kath & Kim (4.2 million).