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RATINGS: ‘Biggest Loser’ Sets a Record (For Now)

Feel free to make-your-own “big” puns. We’re out of ideas

Tuesday’s return of the weight loss-themed unscripted drama appears to have set a record for most adults 18-49 to tune-in a premiere of the franchise. "TBL: Couples" notched a 4.6/21 in the demo, up a tick from last year’s previous high-water mark of 4.5.

That’s according to fast national data from Nielsen. Whether this is an actual record or not won’t be known until final numbers come in this afternoon.

In total viewers, "TBL" was down a hair from 2009, but still brought in a very nice 11.7 million viewers. Any time NBC draws a total viewer tally in the double digits, we’re pretty sure Jeff Gaspin gets to ring the Pauly the NBC Peacock Bell recently installed at the entrance to NBC’s Universal City HQ. (Hey, it’s not such a stretch: the dearly departed WB Network had a gong!)

Bottom line: "Loser" joins "Survivor," "Big Brother" (six months till it’s back!) and The Bachelor" on the list of long-running reality franchises kicking butt despite being qualified for Medicare. Particularly since "Loser" boosted "The Jay Leno Show" to a 2.2 in the demo.

In other ratings factoids, CBS’ "NCIS" (4.4/12) and "NCIS: Cool J" (3.7/9) did their normal darn good numbers. And ABC’s Tuesday surrender (rejected but critically admired comedies, plus a Jerry Bruckheimer drama that just isn’t clicking despite everyone’s best intentions) produced wholly disastrous results.

Hope everyone at a network not named Fox enjoyed these Tuesday numbers. Next week, "American Idol" returns to murder your babies and steal your women. Probably.