Nonstop chatter does a Gossip Girl good.
The CW series, which has seemed to generate more press than viewers, got off to a solid start last night, averaging 3.4 million for its second-season premiere, Nielsen Media Research estimates said.
Overall, a jackpot-hitting Deal or No Deal won the night in so-so fashion, while a new TNT drama debuted in record-setting fashion.
Gossip Girl's performance was on par with last season's opener (3.5 million), up a bit over last May's finale (3 million), and up a lot over its first-season average (2.5 million).
Showing its limitations, the show was outdrawn in its time slot by the Univision telenovela Al Diablo con los Guapos (5 million). It also came up short when compared to fellow teen drama The Secret Life of the American Teenager, which has been averaging 3.7 million this summer for cable's ABC Family Channel.
Pointing out its strengths, the struggling CW said Gossip Girl hit a series high among the network's most-coveted demographic: women, aged 18 to 34.
Aided by the sixth-season premiere of One Tree Hill (3.1 million), the CW said it won the night in its key demo in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago—three cities where the CW affiliates, all owned by Tribune Broadcasting, have begun to downplay their association with the network.
NBC's Deal or No Deal, meanwhile, was Monday's most-watched show, averaging 10.9 million viewers. The number was good, but it wasn't anything special for an episode that featured the game show's first $1 million winner, Utah mom Jessica Robinson.
On TNT, Raising the Bar, a new, old-fashioned lawyer show from NYPD Blue creator Steven Bochco, scored more viewers (7.7 million) than any basic-cable series premiere ever, the network said.
On Fox, the fourth-season opener of Prison Break (6.5 million) was 1 million viewers lighter than the show's third-season premiere.