Bloody hell: The CW’s "The Vampire Diaires" scored the network’s biggest premiere audience ever Thursday, drawing nearly 4.84 million viewers.
Among women 18-34, "Vampire" notched a 3.0/10; with women 18-49, it earned a 2.8/8. Both are CW time period highs for the 8 p.m. Thursday slot. Among all viewers 18-34, the show earned a 2.2/8 and beat everything else at 8 p.m. except football on NBC.
The definitely-doesn’t-suck performance helps ease the pain of this week’s disappointing debut of "Melrose Place," and could position the CW as a new player on Thursday night.
If, that is, the ratings hold up.
A year ago this time, the CW was celebrating nearly as strong numbers for the debut of "90210" (at the time, the highest debut in the network’s history). A week later, the show shed 30 percent of its audience.
But "Vampire" may be better positioned to hold on to its base. It’s got a built-in audience of fans from the original "Vampire" book series. And unlike "90210," there was no nostalgia tune-in from viewers looking to see old favorites.
Indeed, if the CW is lucky, "Vampire" will follow the pattern of the other undead drama now on TV, HBO’s "True Blood." It began nicely but has exploded in season two.
Meanwhile, "Vampire" exec producer Kevin Williamson might be feeling some deja vu this morning. It was about a decade ago that another one of his creations premiered on a small network to record ratings and changed the course of that broadcaster’s history.
The show? "Dawson’s Creek."
UPDATE: More stats/spin:
– "Vampire" outperformed the year-ago "Smallville" premiere by 114% in women 18-34, 75% in women 18-49, 22% in adults 18-34, 17% in adults 18-49 , 11% in viewers.
– "Vampire" was second in the hour (behind football), with women 18-34 and adults 18-34. It beat ABC and Fox (which were in repeats) in adults 18-34 and total viewers.
– "Supernatural" did nicely but didn’t get a major boost. It improved over its premiere last year by 6% in women 18-34 (1.7/5) and had its best women 18-34 (1.7/5) and women 18-49 (1.7/5) ratings since January. It was actually down, however, among adults 18-49.
–Overall, the combination of "Vampire Diaries" and "Supernatural" gave The CW its best Thursday ever with women 18-34 (2.4/7) and women 18-49 (2.2/6). The CW was second on Thursday with women 18-34 and adults 18-34. It beat ABC and Fox in adults 18-49 and viewers for the night.