Once Upon a Time's a hit in its early going. Grimm showed life in the dead zone that's Friday night.
But fairy tales aren't police procedurals. They don't have a prime-time track record. Not a good one, anyway.
They might even be cursed.
If you were to count all the long-running fairy-tale series on your fingers, you'd have plenty of free digits, even if you counted Linda Hamilton's Beauty and the Beast—a few times.
Prior to this fall, prime-time's last major attempt at a fairy tale was Pushing Daisies, which died of low ratings in 2009.
But things may be changing.
Coming off a big premiere, Once Upon a Time held steady on Sunday night, scoring 11.7 million viewers, and snaring enough 18-to-49-year-olds to finish 17th in Nielsen's weekly demo standings.
In its debut in a no-win time slot that put in not only on a Friday, but pitted it against Game 7 of the World Series, Grimm didn't lose. It managed 6.6 million viewers, and wound up as NBC's second-biggest series in the weekly demo after The Office.
Time will tell if Once Upon a Time and Grimm are built to last, but the present's promising.
And that's more than the "happily ever after" genre usually gets.
Other key ratings results:
• The X Factor (15th place, per Nielsen broadcast rankings): The first live-performance show sang.
• Happy Endings (40th place): Shot up even though its lead-in, Modern Family (20th place), aired a rerun. Somebody's turned into a real-live hit.
• The Simpsons (41st place): Who argued this show was over? The old-timer's annual Halloween offering was up over last year's.
• It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (44th place): Scored a season-high 18-49 rating for ABC in the 8 p.m., Thursday slot. So, now we know what Charlie's Angels needed: more Linus.
• Pan Am (46th place): Flew up. For a change.
• Allen Gregory (61st place): Jonah Hill's premiering toon comedy was the weak link for Fox between The Simpsons and Family Guy (50th place).
• NBC's Thursday lineup: Everything was under a 2.0 demo rating, save The Office (54th place) and Whitney (75th place).
• Chuck (88th place): Its fifth and final season opened with a, yikes, 1.0 rating in the 18-49. Things can only go up from here?
• Terra Nova (6.4 million viewers, per overnight estimates) and House (6.5 million viewers): Baseball was good for Fox, but not for these two shows, which both returned kinda cold from their playoff-imposed layoff.
• Rock Center (4.1 million viewers): The new Brian Wiliams newsmag was demographically weaker than the show it replaced, the late Playboy Club.
• Project Runway (34th place): The finale's 3 million viewers was big for the show—for this season, at least.
Here's a complete look at the TV week's Top 10 most-watched broadcast shows: