'Supernatural,' 'Flashpoint' hit ratings highs
The CW's ratings surprises continue. The fourth-season premiere of "Supernatural" premiered to a network high Thursday night, up a striking 29% from its October debut last year.
The "Supernatural" peak (4 million viewers, 1.7 preliminary adults 18-49 rating and a 5 share, according to Nielsen) suggests the CW is benefiting from a rising tide this fall, where a couple strong newer shows like "Gossip Girl" and "90210" are helping juice the network’s veteran dramas.
Still, that theory was tested at 8 p.m., when the debut of "Smallville" (4.4 million, 1.8/6) returned down 10% from its premiere week bow last year. Yet it's also the eighth year of the Superman drama, and the first without player Michael Rosenbaum.
Meanwhile CBS' unassuming Canadian drama "Flashpoint" had another strong note. The show spiked 18% from last week to another season high (9.7 million, 2.6/7) and won the 10 p.m. hour against repeat competition.
Since premiering on Friday night two months ago, "Flashpoint" has elbowed the better-promoted "Swingtown" off Thursdays, survived the Olympics on NBC and gave CBS a scripted original that served as a platform to promote fall programming.
CBS placed second for the night with "Flashpoint" and repeats, while Fox won the night with with reality programming.
Fox aired two half hours of "Hole in the Wall" (4.1 million, 1.8/6 and 5.3 million, 2.2/7) followed by "Kitchen Nightmares" (6.1 million, 2.8/8) -- the highest-rated show of the night. But "Hole" was down an average of 13% from last week while “Nightmares” dropped a tenth of a point.
ABC and NBC tied for third, with ABC running repeats and NBC airing a low-rated special half hour of "America's Got Talent" (8.9 million, 2.3/7), followed by repeats.