30 Rock Sets Series Ratings Highs

30 Rock Cast Photo

Last night from 9:31-10:01 p.m. ET, the third season premiere of “30 Rock” scored new series-high numbers, delivering a 4.1 rating, 10 share in adults 18-49 and 8.5 million viewers overall. “Rock” was up 21 percent in 18-49 rating and 16 percent in total viewers versus last season’s premiere (a 3.4/9 in 18-49 and 7.3 million viewers on Thursday, Oct. 4, 2007 at 8:30 p.m.).

Versus its three-week run last Spring in this post-“Office” time period, last night’s “30 Rock” surged by 52 percent in 18-49 rating (4.1 vs. 2.7) and 57 percent in total viewers (8.5 million vs. 5.4 million). “30 Rock” retained 87 percent of its 18-49 lead-in from “The Office,” easily its best retention so far in the post-“Office” time slot and well ahead of its average retention in this time period last season of 69 percent. “30 Rock” ranked #1 in its highly competitive time period in men 18-49 and men 18-34, topping CBS’s “CSI,” ABC’s “Grey’s Anatomy” and Fox’s “Kitchen Nightmares” in those demos.

Last night from 9-9:31 p.m. ET, “The Office” (4.7/12 in 18-49, 9.3 million viewers overall) increased versus the prior week by 12 percent in adults 18-49 (to a 4.7 from a 4.2) and by 17 percent in total viewers (to 9.3 million from 8.0 million) to deliver its top 18-49 rating since October 9 and its largest overall viewership since its season premiere on September 25.

“The Office” ranked #2 in its time period in adults 18-49, topping a first-run episode of CBS’s “CSI” for the first time ever in that key demographic (pending updates of these preliminary results). “The Office” ranked #1 in the half-hour in adults 18-34, men 18-34 and men 18-34, ahead of “CSI,” ABC’s “Grey’s Anatomy” and Fox’s “Kitchen Nightmares” in those demographic measures.

From 10:01-11 p.m. ET, “ER” (3.4/9 in 18-49, 9.1 million viewers overall) won its time period in adults 18-49, adults 18-34, adults 25-54 and virtually all other key demographics over the freshmen dramas “Eleventh Hour” on CBS and “Life on Mars” on ABC. “ER” has now finished #1 in this time period in adults 18-49, excluding sports, for four weeks in a row. Versus last week, “ER” was up 6 percent in 18-49 rating (3.4/9 vs. 3.2/8) and 3 percent in total viewers (9.1 million vs. 8.8 million).

NBC’s Thursday night began at 8 p.m. ET, when “My Name is Earl” (2.4/7, 6.2 million viewers overall) won its competitive slot in men 18-34, ahead of CBS’s “Survivor,” ABC’s “Ugly Betty,” Fox’s “Kitchen Nightmares” encore and CW’s “Smallville” in that demo. “Earl” ranked #2 in adults 18-49 and other key demos.

At 8:30 p.m. ET, “Kath & Kim” (2.3/6 in 18-49, 5.5 million viewers overall) increased week-to-week by 5 percent in 18-49 rating (2.3 vs. 2.2) and 9 percent in total viewers (5.5 million vs. 5.0 million). “Kath & Kim” retained 96 percent of its “Earl” lead-in among adults 18-49 (up from an 88 percent retention last week) and built on the “Earl” lead-in by 5 percent in adults 18-34 and 16 percent in women 18-34.

Preliminary 18-49 averages for Thursday night are: CBS, 3.9/10; ABC, 3.6/10; NBC, 3.4/9; Fox and CW, 1.6/4. In overall total viewers, October 30 preliminary results are: CBS, 14.4 million; ABC, 10.7 million; NBC, 8.0 million; CW, 3.9 million; Fox, 3.8 million.

Note that all national ratings are “live plus same day” unless otherwise indicated.