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October 31, 2009

'Smallville' grows again ('Ugly Betty' doesn't)

Smallvillee Four shows drew a 1.2 rating in the adult demo Friday night and the number means something different for each of them.

For The CW's "Smallville" (2.6 million viewers, 1.2), the rating is a season high, representing additional growth over recent weeks and a rising likelihood the veteran series will stick around for another year despite being jettisoned to TV Siberia.

For ABC's "Ugly Betty" (4.5 million, 1.2), it means the show's third episode held steady and the series is almost certainly not going to return. The cost of programming and standards for a pickup at ABC, of course, are higher than at The CW.

For Fox's two-hour "House" repeat (3.8 million, 1.2), it doesn't mean anything ... except perhaps showing for the millionth time that Fox generating numbers on Friday is not easy trick. This is slightly better in the demo than "Dollhouse" pulled, though given the hefty "Dollhouse" DVR boost, the numbers might come out even in the wash.

And for NBC's "The Jay Leno Show" (5.1 million, 1.2), if this rating sticks, it will be the show's lowest ever as the show becomes a ratings pinata for cable hits and popular repeats to try and whack.

(So, yes, in an unfair way, "Smallville" tied "House" -- not a statement you would have expected to make anytime soon.)

Meanwhile CBS won the night, though posted declines across the board -- "Ghost Whisperer" (8 million, 2.0), "Medium" (7.7 million, 1.8) and "Numbers" (7.9 million, 1.8). ABC and NBC tied for second. ABC's "Supernanny" (4.7 million, 1.3) improved 18% for its second week as viewers discovered it was back on. NBC's "Law & Order" (7.5 million, 1.4) was down a tenth.


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