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NBC's 'Parenthood' makes debut; Jay Leno's numbers slip, but he's still first

March 3, 2010 | 11:36 am


NBC's new show, "Parenthood," got pretty solid reviews and won the 10-11 p.m. hour in the key adults 18-49 hour.

But before the folks at NBC start breaking out the champagne, consider how heavily the show was hyped during the network's coverage of the Olympics as well as on billboards all across the country. One might have expected a higher tune-in given the level of promotion the show received.

"Parenthood" averaged about 8.1 million viewers and a 3.1 rating in the adults 18-49 demographic (each rating point in that demographic represents 1.3 million viewers). The show's performance in the 18-49 demographic mirrored the series premieres of "Southland" and "My Own Worst Enemy," neither of which got the marketing that "Parenthood" received. The show held much of its lead-in from "The Biggest Loser," which is a good sign. 

Fox, powered by "American Idol," took the night with 23.4 million viewers and a 8.6 rating among adults 18-49. CBS was second with about 16 million viewers and 3.3 rating with adults 18-49. NBC came in third with 8.2 million viewers and a 3.1 with adults 18-49. ABC was fourth with 6.3 million viewers and a 2.5 in adults 18-49. All numbers are provided by Nielsen.

Jay Leno's second night in his return as host of NBC's "Tonight Show" saw, as expected, declines in viewers from Monday night. However, its performance was good enough for first place. It averaged 5.8 million viewers, off 12% from Monday night. In adults 18-49, the show was flat, with a 1.6 rating.

-- Joe Flint

Photo: Cast members of "Parenthood." Credit: Art Streiber / NBC / MCT