ABC's MVPs: Docs, 'Desperate' and Dancers

Kevin McKidd (with Sandra Oh) was introduced as the new doctor on the two-hour season debut of "Grey's Anatomy."
Kevin McKidd (with Sandra Oh) was introduced as the new doctor on the two-hour season debut of "Grey's Anatomy." (By Scott Garfield -- Abc)
Lisa de Moraes
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Self-absorbed doctors, housewives five years more desperate and a whopping five hours of dancing with D-listers catapulted ABC to its second consecutive Premiere Week win, this time with a million-viewer lead over its closest competitor.

Here's a look at the week's winners and losers:


"Dancing With the Stars" a.k.a. "25 Percent of ABC's Premiere Week Lineup," kicked off the new season right Monday. More than 21 million tuned in, on par with last season, making it the week's most watched program. In five hours over three nights, "Dancing" averaged 19 million viewers, also on par with last year's first-week results, which these days is a big victory.

"Grey's Anatomy." The season debut of the ABC doc drama unveiled a new hot doctor, Kevin McKidd (you know, "Journeyman" star), though they'd inexplicably given him a makeover and he now looks like Roy Scheider as Bob Fosse/Joe Gideon -- not a good look. Nevertheless, he/it attracted nearly 10 million 18-to-49-year-olds -- the hot blondes of Madison Avenue -- which put "Grey's" in first place for the week in the age bracket that counts. Overall, it clocked about 18.5 million viewers, which is down about 12 percent, and that's without "CSI" competition on CBS.

"Desperate Housewives." Fast-forwarded five years, the ABC soap was the week's most watched scripted series, with just under 19 million tuned in to see exactly how bad Eva Longoria would look. Pretty bad.

CBS's returning series."NCIS" celebrated its biggest debut -- 18 million viewers -- against Fox powerhouse, um, "House." "Criminal Minds" was up 34 percent among those 18-to-49ers advertisers bill and coo over.

With nearly all returning shows, CBS's Monday was No. 1 among those 18-to-49ers for the first time in six years. The night included the season debut of "CSI: Miami" (Horatio lives!), which, when the dust settled, was the week's No. 6 program among the Hot Blond Viewers, beating, among other shows, NBC's "Heroes" and "The Office," and Fox's "Fringe" and "House."

"The Mentalist." Simon Baker's third at-bat on CBS is this season's highest-debuting new series, posting an average of 15.6 million viewers to land in Premiere Week's top 10.

"The Office." The one-hour season debut finished in the top 10 among 18-to-49ers, within two-tenths of the series's record in that age bracket. It copped more than 9 million viewers overall, against the "Grey's" unveiling and the launch of CBS's latest "Survivor."

"Lipstick Jungle." Yes, it attracted only 6.3 million viewers last week, but they were the week's most upscale 6.3 million, at least through Friday. Since this week's crash, their status may have changed.


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