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Don’t Stop Believin': ‘Glee’ Off to Good Start

Fox musical comedy attracts 7 million viewers, this time without any help from ‘American Idol’

The hype paid off: Fox’s "Glee" launched to solid numbers Wednesday, according to early Nielsen data.

 

The official premiere of the Ryan Murphy musical comedy averaged a 3.3/9 in adults 18-49 and 7.3 million viewers from 9-10 p.m. Wednesday. Among women 18-34, the series notched a stellar 5.3/14.

 

Wednesday’s numbers are down from the show’s preview ratings last May–a 3.9 demo rating and 9.6 million viewers — but there’s a big difference. Last night, "Glee" didn’t have an "American Idol" lead-in.

 

While these numbers don’t indicate "Glee" is a runaway hit, they do suggest the series has a solid core. And if "Glee" can maintain this rating into the regular season, Fox execs will be very happy indeed.

 

UPDATE: So, "Glee" managed to build on its lead-in: The season premiere of "So You Think You Can Dance" notched a 2.7/8 from 8-9 p.m., which means "Glee" added about 20 percent more young adults.

 

Fox also says "Glee" is its best scripted fall premiere in two years, and notes that the official premiere outdrew last May’s preview among adults 18-34. Even without "Idol."

 

The show did dip slightly at the half-hour, falling a tenth of a ratings point.

 

As for the other big event of Wednesday night, President Obama’s speech to Congress, the three broadcast networks that carried it combined to attract around 21 million viewers. NBC was first for the 8 p.m. hour, followed by ABC and CBS.

 

The speech outdrew Fox’s "Dance" on  ABC and NBC; CBS’s coverage was just a bit below the "Dance" number.

 

UPDATE 2: After last night’s episode, six songs from the "Glee" soundtrack have landed in the iTunes top 100. "Take a Bow" has cracked the top ten. The other songs: "Golddigger," "Can’t Fight," "Push It," "On My Own" and "Don’t Stop."