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Zooey Deschanel's 'New Girl' draws big ratings

September 21, 2011 | 10:25 am

Zooey Deschanel in 'New Girl' on Fox

It was the revenge of the nerds for Fox Tuesday night, as Zooey Deschanel's new sitcom, "New Girl," topped the ratings. But the "Glee" phenomenon is showing signs of fading.

"New Girl," which has bespectacled alt-goddess Deschanel playing a geeky young woman who moves in with three men after she catches her live-in boyfriend cheating, opened to a relatively modest 10.1 million total viewers, according to early data from Nielsen.

But it was among young adults that "New Girl" really shone. The comedy was, impressively, the top-rated program of the night among adults ages 18 to 49, the demographic most sought by advertisers. "New Girl" notced a 4.7 rating/12 share, waltzing past its rivals in the 9 p.m. half-hour.

The bad news for Fox is that "Glee's" passionate fan base seemed to be missing in action. The high school musical drew just 8.9 million viewers and lost nearly a third of its 18-49 audience compared with last year's Season 2 rollout. Most embarrassingly, "Glee" was handily beat in 18-49 by the season premiere of "NCIS" (3.8 rating versus 4.2) -- a crime program not known for its tremendous youth appeal.

At 10 p.m., CBS looked solid with the premiere of "Unforgettable," its new crime show inspired by news stories about people who can remember every moment from their lives. The drama dominated the hour with an average of 14 million total viewers.


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-- Scott Collins (

Photo: Zooey Deschanel, right, and Hannah Simone in "New Girl." Credit: Isabella Vosmikova / Fox