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Fringe Flies Over the Radar

Fringe Mark Holzberg/FOX

So far, so good for Fringe.

The new Fox series from J.J. Abrams and the writers of his upcoming Star Trek reboot averaged 9 million viewers for its 90-minute premiere last night, Nielsen Media Research estimates said.

Over on the CW, 90210 fell significantly from its own premiere, but did its duty for the woman-courting network.

Outside of shows launched after American Idol or sports, à la Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Fringe was Fox's biggest drama-series premiere in two years, or since Standoff, the network said.

Proving it's not necessarily about where you start, though, Standoff aired only 11 episodes in 2006 before being benched.

Fringe can worry about the future later. As of last night, it was the No. 1 show from 8 to 9:30 p.m. among 18- to 49-year-olds. Like the second-season opener of Terminator before it, the X-Files-esque (or Lostian, if you prefer) tale of federal agents searching for answers to a mysterious plane disaster proved effective in locking up young males.

Fox will push Fringe this coming Sunday with a two-hour, extended-dance version of the premiere that'll feature sneaks of the upcoming big-screen remake of The Day the Earth Stood Still and the upcoming prime-time 24 prequel, Redemption.

Along with its Abrams pedigree, Fringe features the return to prime time of Dawson's Creek alum Joshua Jackson.

Shannen Doherty and Jennie Garth's return to the 90210 ZIP code, meanwhile, continues to go OK. In its second week, the franchise restart won its 8-9 p.m. time slot among the CW's most-coveted crowd, 18- to 34-year-old women.

As an all-around viewer magnet, 90210's pull was much weaker this week than last. The show averaged 3.3 million, down nearly 1.5 million viewers from the premiere.

Elsewhere, the new CW series Privileged, a sort of Nanny Diaries meets Gossip Girl in Palm Beach, failed to put up gaudy numbers. The drama (2.9 million) lost the network's advantage among women 18-34 to ABC's Wipeout and the second hour of NBC's America's Got Talent.

Despite slumping since returning from its Olympic hiatus, America's Got Talent was again Tuesday's most-watched show (11.2 million).

At HBO, meanwhile, the pay-cable network's search for the next Sopranos and Sex and the City continues. This after True Blood, the vampire tale from Six Feet Under's Alan Ball, premiered Sunday before only 1.4 million, or less than half of what HBO's failed John from Cincinnati scored in its disappointing premiere last year.

Entourage didn't help matters. Its fifth-season premiere averaged 1.6 million, the guy show's worst showing since July 2005, the Los Angeles Times reported.

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