ABC's new thriller "The River" got off to a so-so start with its series premiere Tuesday, while CBS took the night with the 200th episode of "NCIS," which drew top numbers both in ratings and viewership, according to preliminary numbers.
"NCIS," on CBS at 8 p.m., returned from a four-week break to match its last original airing on Jan. 10, receiving a 4.1 rating/11 share in the adults 18-49 demographic. It had 20.8 million total viewers. "NCIS: LA" the following hour drew a 3.1/8 in the demo and 16 million total viewers, while "Unforgettable" at 10 received a 2.2/6 in the demo and 11.6 million total viewers. Overall the network averaged a 3.1/8 in the demo for a ratings win, and was most-watched with an average 16.2 million total viewers.
Fox took second-best ratings for the night with an average 3.0/8 in the demo, and was third in total viewership with an average 6.7 million total viewers. "Glee" at 8 dropped 14 percent versus last week's Michael Jackson episode, receiving a 3.2/9 in the demo. It had 7.7 million total viewers. "New Girl" the following hour ran flat with last week, drawing a 3.5/9 in the demo with 6.9 million total viewers. The night closed with "Raising Hope" at 10, which was up 10 percent from last week with a 2.2/5 in the demo and 4.6 million total viewers.
ABC was third in the ratings and second in total viewers, averaging a 2.4/6 and 7.6 million. "Last Man Standing" at 8 was down 12 percent from its last original three weeks ago with a 2.6/7 in the demo and 7.7 million total viewers. Another "Last Man Standing" followed at 8:30, taking a 2.5/6 in the demo and 7.9 million total viewers. The two-hour premiere of "The River" at 9 drew a 2.4/6 in the demo — up slightly in the demo from last January's midseason debut of "Off the Map." Even so, "The River" took fifth place in the demo for the night. The premiere drew 7.5 million total viewers.
NBC's night started with "The Biggest Loser" at 8, which drew a 2.2/6 in the demo and 6.3 million total viewers, while "Parenthood" dipped to a series low, slipping 6 percent from its last original three weeks ago with a 1.6/4 in the demo and 4.6 million total viewers. The network was fourth in ratings and viewers with a 2/5 and 5.8 million.