For an ex-vampire, a pair of monster-hunting brothers, and a crew of sea-creature-tracking scientists, the living this fall is good. As for Don Johnson and Chris O'Donnell...
Bones, Supernatural and Surface are among the freshman shows off to solid starts in the just-launched 2005-06 TV season.
Just Legal and Head Cases are among the freshman shows that aren't. Off to solid starts, that is.
Fox's CSI-ian Bones, starring former Angel bloodsucker David Boreanaz, was the most-watched new show for TV week ended Sunday, finishing 11th with 10.8 million viewers, per Nielsen Media Research.
The WB's Supernatural, about siblings on a road trip from hell, scared up 5.7 million for its premiere. In 59th place, it was the WB's second-most watched show behind the perky sixth-season premiere of Gilmore Girls (50th place, 6.2 million).
With 11.2 million viewers, NBC's Surface, the underwater sci-fi adventure, topped CBS' new comedy block of King of Queens (10.7 million) and the buzzed-about How I Met Your Mother (10.9 million). (Since these shows all aired Monday night, their performances will be reflected in next week's rankings.)
The WB's Flynt Publication-sounding Just Legal, starring Johnson as a boozy lawyer teamed up with a hot-shot litigator, also delivered its opening argument Monday night. It's likely in no hurry for next week's Nielsens. The show ran sixth in its time slot, outdone by the season premieres of UPN's trusty Girlfriends and Half & Half.
Fox's Head Cases, starring O'Donnell as an uptight lawyer teamed up with a hothead litigator, didn't exactly flunk the bar. But its 49th place opening (6.2 million), opposite a rerun of Lost on ABC (39th place, 7 million), didn't bode well for when the real competition starts.
All in all, things could be worse for Johnson and O'Donnell, two of the most familiar faces back in prime time this fall. They could have signed on to star in Fox's Kitchen Confidential, serving just 4.3 million patrons Monday night.
Elsewhere:On Sunday night, Medium star Patricia Arquette got the Emmy. On Monday night, CBS' CSI: Miami (19.2 million) got the big time-slot win, trouncing the NBC psychic show (12.7 million). Update on Fox's Arrested Development: New night (Monday), new time (8 p.m.), worse ratings (4.6 million). CBS' Two and a Half Men did all right by Everybody Loves Raymond's old 9 p.m., Monday time slot, bringing hugs and smiles to 15 million, and running second only to ABC's resurgent Monday Night Football (16.1 million). At 9:30 p.m. Monday, CBS' new comedy, Out of Practice (13.2 million), lost only about 10 percent of its Two and a Half Men lead-in. The good news: Martha Stewart's new lifestyle show, Martha, was the highest-rated daytime launch since Dr. Phil. The not so good news: Stewart's ratings are about half of Dr. Phil's, which are about half of Oprah's. (Stewart's prime-time vehicle, the new Apprentice, rolls out Wednesday on NBC.) In their first match-up of the season, CBS' Survivor: Guatemala (third place, 18.4 million), the franchise's 11th edition, outeverythinged Fox's The O.C. (51th place, 6.2 million). In its second-season debut, Fox's House (fourth place, 15.9 million) proved itself no freshman fluke. Advertisers didn't think much of the prospects of CBS' Threshold (21st place, 8.6 million), but alien hunters look to be this fall's black. NBC's The Biggest Loser (31st place, 7.8 million) went on a viewer diet for the start of its second season. Other season premieres: Fox's King of the Hill (37th place, 7.1 million); ABC's Wife Swap (44th place, 6.7 million); and WB's Reba (76th place, 4.3 million). Now four little-watched seasons old, the WB's What I Like I About You (91st place, 2.9 million) continued to prove that ratings are quite possibly overrated.
Led by the Emmys (second place, 18.7 million), CBS won the week, the final one of the 2004-05 TV year, in total viewers (averaging 10.5 million) and the 18-49 demo.
Thanks to big starts by House and Bones, Fox nabbed second (7.5 million), followed by ABC (7.3 million) and NBC (6.9 million). The WB (3.4 million) turned the tables on UPN (2.6 million).
Here's a look of the 10 most watched prime-time shows for the week ended Sunday, according to Nielsen Media Research:
1. NFL Monday Night Football (Philadelphia Eagles vs. Atlanta Falcons), ABC, 19.6 million
2. 57th Annual Emmy Awards, CBS, 18.7 million
3. Survivor: Guatemala, CBS, 18.4 million
4. House, Fox, 15.9 million
5. NFL Monday Showcase, ABC, 14.9 million
6. CSI (9:30 p.m., Thursday), CBS, 14.5 million
7. CBS NFL Post-Game, CBS, 14.4 million
8. CSI (10:30 p.m., Thursday), CBS, 13 million
9. 60 Minutes, CBS, 12.7 million
10. Two and a Half Men (9:30 p.m., Monday), CBS, 10.9 million