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Fall TV: Who's Winning, Who's Losing?

Aly Michalka, Robbie Jones, Ashley Tisdale, Hellcats Jack Rowand/The CW

Hellcats and Vampire Diaries versus Jersey Shore and True Blood.

Fall premieres battled summer holdovers in last week's Nielsen race. Who won? Who lost ground? The answers—and more questions—straight ahead in the latest  TV ratings quiz.

1. Which show scored the biggest season premiere? Did you remember prime-time football counts as a show? If so, then you correctly answered, "Sunday Night Football." The four-year-old NBC franchise wasn't just large, it was record large, averaging 25.3 million viewers.

2. OK, which non-football show scored the biggest season premiere? World of Jenks (4.8 million viewers).

3. World of Jenks?! Yes. Good things happen when your brand-new MTV doc series premieres after the Lady Gaga-powered, Chelsea Handler-hosted Video Music Awards, which delivered its biggest audience (11.4 million viewers) since 2002. 

4. OK, so which show scored the biggest season premiere without any help from the NFL or a meat dress? Sons of Anarchy (4.1 million, up from its second-season opener).

5. Hellcats, Nikita and Vampire Diaries: Which CW show delivered the biggest premiere? Nikita (3.6 million viewers). Vampire Diaries sucked up to 3.4 million (down a touch from last fall's debut). The all-new Hellcats rallied a CW-good 3 million.

6. Hellcats, Nikita and Vampire Diaries: Which CW show arguably is not a CW show? Nikita. Among the three openers, the spy series put up the weakest numbers among young women (Vampire Diaries posted the strongest), and did the best among middle-aged men who don't know Chace Crawford from the other kid who looks like Chace Crawford.

7. Vampire Diaries or True Blood? The HBO hit's third-season finale outdrew its fanged, free-TV counterpart, with 5.4 million viewers, slightly up from its season-two closer.

8. America's Next Top Model or summer? Going head-to-head on Wednesday, the beach-season hits Masterchef and Big Brother squeezed out the 15th-season premiere of the CW show, which was down significantly in total viewers: from 3.3 million viewers for last fall's opener to 2.8 million for last week's. 

9. Bachelor Pad finale or Gossip Girl premiere? Bachelor Pad (5.8 million estimated viewers from 9-10 p.m.; 5.8 million estimated from 8-10 p.m.) By the by, the results from last night's battles will be reflected in next week's Nielsen standings.

10. Gossip Girl premiere or 90210 premiere? Gossip Girl (1.9 million estimated viewers). Overall, both shows were about even with their 2009 premieres, which is good, but 90210 was even weaker among the CW's all-important young women than Nikita, which is not good.

11. Summer's winding down, so Jersey Shore must be, too: True or false? False. Even going up against the NFL's monstrous opening-night Thursday game on NBC (27.5 million viewers), the MTV reality series remained pumped, with 6.4 million viewers.

Here's a rundown of the major broadcast and cable primetime premieres for the week ended Sunday, per Nielsen Media Research:

  1. Sunday Night Football, 25.3 million viewers
  2. World of Jenks, 4.8 million
  3. America's Most Wanted: America Fights Back, 4.4 million
  4. Sons of Anarchy, 4.1 million
  5. Pair of Kings, 4.1 million
  6. Cops, 3.6 million
  7. Nikita, 3.57 million
  8. Vampire Diaries, 3.4 million
  9. Hellcats, 3 million
  10. America's Next Top Model, 2.8 million

__________

Tune in Watch With Kristin's 2010 Fall TV Preview.

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