Project Runway is off and running.
The third-season opener of Bravo's fashionable reality show was eyed by 2.4 million, a whopping, triple-digit, 161 percent increase over the show's season two premiere, the cable network boasted, er, said.
Even better, at least for the sake of host Heidi Klum's visibility, some 3.7 million caught the repeat Monday night on Bravo's big network brother, NBC, per overnight estimates.
Project Runway, featuring 15 designing women and men vying for one career-launching spot at New York's Fashion Week, was hailed last week in Time as "reality TV that's a cut above." Next month, it will compete for the Best Reality Competition Emmy against defending champ The Amazing Race and Nielsen all-stars American Idol, Survivor and Dancing with the Stars.
Striking while the catwalk is hot, NBC will give the Bravo series a second showcase on its schedule next week.
Elsewhere in the ratings for the TV week ended Sunday:
It's early, it's summer and crime shows tend to hold up exceedingly well in reruns, but for what it's worth CBS would like the public to know that a little ol' CSI rerun (fourth place, 10.3 million) pasted a Grey's Anatomy rerun (65th place, 4.5 million) in the first head-to-head Thursday matchup of the two powerhouse shows. Back in its usual Sunday residence, Grey's Anatomy (25th place, 6.5 million) was revived. Divide the daily gross ($24.8 million) by the nation's average ticket price ($6.61), and movie math shows that approximately 3.75 million bought tickets to Pirates of The Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest on Saturday. By comparison, 7.4 million stayed home that night and watched its predecessor, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, on USA, making it cable's most watched show. TNT's The Closer (6.4 million) closed out another week as cable's most watched regular series. TNT looks to have another performer in the Stephen King anthology miniseries Nightmares & Dreamscapes. Last Wednesday's first installment was braved by 5.2 million; the second episode, by 4.8 million. No Barry Bonds, no problem. TV land attendance at the MLB All-Star Game (first place, 14.4 million) was up 17 percent from 2005, Fox said. The event's tie-in homerun derby hit it out of the park for 6.8 million on ESPN. NBC's America's Got Talent (second place, 11.1 million) was the most watched summer series; NBC's Windfall (59th place, 4.8 million) was not. Other beach-season shows finding their place in the sun: So You Think You Can Dance (sixth place, 9.6 million--Wednesday; ninth place, 9.3 million--Thursday); Big Brother (19th place, 7.4 million--Tuesday; 22nd place, 7 million--Thursday); Rock Star: Supernova (33rd place, 6.3 million--Tuesday; 52nd place, 5.2 million--Wednesday). It's 1 a.m., Saturday, do you know what your grandparents are doing? Possibly joining the 90,000 who caught a Biography Channel presentation of Columbo: Columbo Cries Wolf.
Led by its CSIs, CBS took honors (again) as the week's most watched network. It averaged 7 million viewers. Fox (6.47 million) trailed, followed by NBC (6.46) and ABC (5.1 million).
Here's a look at the 10 most watched prime-time shows for the week ended Sunday, according to Nielsen Media Research:
1. 2006 MLB All-Star Game, Fox, 14.4 million viewers
2. America's Got Talent, NBC, 11.1 million viewers
3. CSI: Miami, CBS, 10.6 million viewers
4. CSI, CBS, 10.3 million viewers
5. 2006 MLB All-Star Game--Pregame, Fox, 10.2 million viewers
6. So You Think You Can Dance (Wednesday), Fox, 9.6 million
7. CSI: NY, CBS, 9.55 million viewers
8. Without a Trace, CBS, 9.5 million viewers
9. So You Think You Can Dance (Thursday), Fox, 9.3 million viewers
10. Two and a Half Men, CBS, 9.2 million viewers