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‘Once Upon A Time’ Wins First Battle With ‘Grimm’

But NBC gets good news, bad news on Friday night

Although on the surface it seems like there is a lot in common, ABC’s “Once Upon a Time” and NBC’s “Grimm” are really two totally different shows.

And while the ABC version of fairy tales easily beat NBC’s, “Grimm” did give NBC it’s best Friday in a very long time, as well as the network’s top-rated series for the week.

But while Friday gave NBC a winner with “Grimm,” it also gave the network a loser in the return of “Chuck,” which came back as the network (and the Big Four’s) lowest-rated show.

“Chuck” earned a 2.2 rating/4 share on its return, down 29 percent from its average last season. However, toward the end of its season on Mondays last year, “Chuck” slipped below the 3.0 household range. The show’s final season premiere is 15 percent below its finale last year. However, it also finished 21 percent below what NBC did in the timeslot last year.

If “Grimm” suffered from its “Chuck” lead-in, however, it didn’t really show it. “Grimm” premiered to a 4.1/7, nearly doubling its lead-in. In fact, it seemed that “Grimm” had a lot of odds stacked against it, yet it somehow still delivered. First, NBC offered the premiere episode ahead of time to anyone who started following the show’s official Twitter account. Then, it went up against Game 7 of the World Series, where baseball’s St. Louis Cardinals defeated the Texas Rangers.

Not enough? NBC has been at the bottom of the Big Four networks for years now, and putting “Grimm” on Fridays seemed to some like NBC was ready to kill the show before it even got a chance.

The network, however, issued a news release Saturday saying “Grimm” did the best non-sports telecast of all the networks in the Friday 9 p.m. spot since ABC’s New Year’s Eve program last December. Apparently, those numbers come in key demographics, and even then, some of that might be suspect. CBS has aired “CSI: New York” in the same timeslot, which has averaged a much higher 6.5/11 this year (improving on last year’s 6.3 household rating).

Fridays have belong to CBS for some time, but especially became more true last year with the move of “CSI: New York” as well as the premiere of “Blue Bloods” which has been the strongest network show to air on Fridays in years. That show, starring Tom Selleck, has averaged a 7.1/12 in its second season. That’s up from the 6.8/12 it averaged last year.

In the same release, NBC said “Chuck” earned the best non-sports rating in that time period for NBC since April 8. NBC has not aired anything non-sports or non-news in the timeslot since “Friday Night Lights” concluded its run May 20. That show averaged a 2.2/4 — the same rating “Chuck” earned Friday night — while in the slot. April 8 was the finale of “Who Do You Think You Are,” which concluded that season with a 3.8/7, and averaged a 4.0/7 in the timeslot.

For ABC, “Once Upon a Time” finished in the top 10 overall, and gave ABC its best Sunday outing in a long, long time. In fact, that’s the best rating ABC has received Sunday night for a show since “Desperate Housewives” earned a 7.2/10 on March 6.

It easily beat “Amazing Race” on CBS, and improved its timeslot on ABC 45 percent over last year.

Week 2 is where the big questions come up for both “Once Upon a Time” and “Grimm.” ABC has not done well in keeping big audiences for its new shows, and “Grimm” will be going head-to-head with another genre (yet struggling) program, “Fringe.” Whether one or both will survive will likely be determined before you have a chance to slice into that Thanksgiving turkey.

Top Network Genre Shows, Week of Oct. 23 — [Audience Loyalty Index rating]

1. (-)    Once Upon a Time (ABC)    7.4/11    [100.0]
2. (-)    Grimm (NBC)    4.1/7    [100.0]
3. (-)    Chuck (NBC)    2.2/4    [100.0]
4. (2)    Vampire Diaries (CW)    2.0/3    [89.3]
5. (3)    Secret Circle (CW)    1.5/2    [75.2]
6. (4)    Supernatural (CW)    1.1/2    [93.1]

Fast Nationals usually provide a snapshot of what Americans are watching by pulling numbers from the top urban markets that include both live viewing and same-day timeshifted viewing. A rating point generally represents more than 1.1 million households while the share indicates the percentage of televisions turned on that was tuned to the specific program. These numbers typically shift when final ratings are issued.

Data collected from The Nielsen Co., as distributed by Zap2it. GenreNexus tracks non-news, non-event programming, and figures for this story reflect airing of new episodes only. For more information on the Audience Loyalty Index, click here.

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Could they be a Rut-ro! Shaggy
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