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May 01, 2009

'Ugly Betty' returns; 'Southland' drops

Ugly betty ABC's Ugly Betty returned from hiatus Thursday night, Private Practice aired its finale, and a curious ratings switcheroo occurred between NBC's two new shows.

ABC won the night despite its first hour being a drag on the ticket -- Betty (6.8 million viewers, 2.0 preliminary adults 18-49 rating). The dramedy came in fourth place at 8 p.m. and landed in the same ratings ballpark as in the weeks leading up to ABC replacing the show. Though Betty still has a shaggy rating, it's outperformed the comedies ABC recently tried in the slot.

The return of Betty didn't seem to impact Grey's Anatomy (13.9 million, 5.0), which received the same rating as last week and was the highest-rated show of the night. After, Private Practice (9.8 million, 3.5) ended its second season finale on a strong note, up a couple tenths and winning its hour.

In second place, CBS had Survivor (11.7 million, 3.6), up a tenth from last week, and CSI (15.3 million, 3.6), down a tenth to a series low. At 10 p.m., CBS aired a repeat of Criminal Minds (10.3 million, 2.4) that did great for a non-original episode. In fact, the Minds repeat was the most-watched show in the hour and higher-rated than NBC's Southland (6.7 million, 2.1), which fell 12% to mark its third consecutive drop since its premiere (3.1 > 3.0 > 2.4 > 2.1).

NBC, which tied Fox for third place overall, aired My Name Is Earl (5.3 million, 2.2) and Parks and Recreation (5.3 million, 2.3) in the 8 p.m. hour. Unlike Southland, freshman comedy Parks held its rating this week and for the first time had a larger number than the cop drama. The Office (7.3 million, 3.7) and 30 Rock (6 million, 2.9), both down slightly, filled out the lineup.

Fox aired a lower-than-usual Bones (8.8 million, 2.2) and Hell's Kitchen (7 million, 2.8). The CW had Smallville (3.3 million, 1.4) and Supernatural (3 million, 1.3), climbing after last week's lows.

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