The Zooey Deschanel-fronted freshman comedy premiered to 10.1 million total viewers on Tuesday night, marking a 36 percent improvement over what Raising Hope did leading out of the Glee opener a year ago. New Girl‘s demo rating of 4.8 meanwhile translates into a 55-percent bump. All told, it was Fox’s highest-rated fall sitcom debut in 10 years (since Bernie Mac).
Even more impressive (than Zooey’s eyes): New Girl built on the Glee premiere’s 8.7 million viewers and 3.8 rating (both tallies representing 30 percent drops from a year ago).
Know who else had a very good night? CBS, which enjoyed year-over-year gains in all three time slots. NCIS drew 19.5 million/4.2 (up 3 and 7 percent from its previous premiere), NCIS: LA did 16.7 mil/3.6 (up 14 and 6 percent), and Poppy Montgomery’s Unforgettable (14 mil/2.9), which improved on The Good Wife by 9 and 16 percent.
Elsewhere on Tuesday:
* The Biggest Loser averaged 6.1 million total viewers and a 2.3 rating in its two-hour opener, down 14 and 20 percent from a year ago.
* With 1.6 mil and a 0.7 rating, 90210 was flat versus last week’s premiere.
* This season’s first Dancing With the Stars results show (14.5 mil/2.9) dropped 20 and 33 percent from last fall.
* Ringer (2 mil/1.0) slipped 28 and 17 percent from its debut. (The CW points out that the freshman drama registered gains in its second half-hour, after New Girl ended.)
* Raising Hope (6.9 mil/3.1) saw gains of 17 and 24 percent versus what Running Wilde did in the 9:30 slot a year ago.
* Trailing Unforgettable in the 10 ‘clock hour, Body of Proof (9.7 mil/2.2) was down some 27 percent from its series debut, while Parenthood (5.3 mil/2.1) slipped 22 percent and a tenth of a point.