Helicopter stunt on “Fear Factor.” (Michael Weaver/NBC)

The exhumation of “Fear Factor.”

A whopping 9 million viewers watched the resuscitation of NBC’s icky-thing-eating/dangerous-stunt-doing reality series after a five-year absence. That’s NBC’s biggest non-football audience this TV season, It’s also about twice as many people as were watching “Fear Factor” in what was thought ot be its last hurrah five years back. Clearly “Fear Factor” was a reality series ahead of its time.

For comparison’s sake, here’s how many people watched the premieres of NBC’s new series this season:

●“Grimm”: 6.6 million

●“Prime Suspect”: 6.1 million

●“Playboy Club”: 5.0 million

●“Whitney”: 6.8 million

●“Free Agents”: 3.9 million (after specialed-out preview which averaged 6.1 million viewers).

●“Up All Night: 6.0 million (after specialed-out preview which averaged 10.9 million)

Among the 18- to 49-year-old viewers NBC targets with its programming, “Fear Factor” beat all the network’s new programs except “Whitney” which it tied. But a second “Fear Factor” episode, at 9 p.m. Monday, beat that, as well.