Ratings: Kiefer's Touch Stirs Up Good Numbers, Marg's CSI Goodbye Scores Season Highs

Kiefer Sutherland’s return to TV and Marg Helgenberger’s goodbye both drew good crowds on Wednesday.

Fox’s Touch, which sneak-previewed last night ahead of its official March 19 debut, touched 11.9 million total viewers in its plum aprés-Idol slot, making it the second most-watched drama premiere of this TV season, trailing only ABC’s Once Upon a Time (which opened to 12.8 mil with a 4.0 demo rating).

While it would have been thematically apropros for Touch to score a “3.18” rating, the freshman series in fact did a 3.9 coming out of Idol (which played to 19.5 million viewers and a 6.4 rating), falling just a tenth behind the Once premiere on that front. We’ll see if Touch gets goosed up to claim a tie (or even the lead) when the final numbers come in later.

Fox notes that Touch’s 61-percent demo retention out of Idol was greater than that of either the Human Target (34%) or Lie to Me (50%) premieres, Fringe‘s first post-Idol airing (51%), or Glee‘s 2009 preview (45%).

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Also for comparison’s sake, Fox’s Alcatraz opened with 10 mil/3.3, while Terra Nova‘s premiere netted 9.1 mil/3.1.

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Capping the night for CBS, Marg Helgenberger’s final appearance as a CSI regular drew north of 14 million total viewers and a 3.3 rating, surging 17 percent week-to-week to deliver season highs on both counts.

Elsewhere on the night….

* American Idol‘s demo rating was down 9 percent from its Season 11 average-to-date.

* NBC’s Whitney (4.5 mil/1.4) was down 12 percent in the demo, while Are You There, Chelsea? (3.9 mil/1.4) dropped another 18 percent.

* One Tree Hill held steady at 1.47 mil/0.7.

* Criminal Minds‘ 150th episode delivered 13.7 million total viewers and a 3.6 rating, up 5 and 13 percent.

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  1. Craig says:

    ONCE was a self starter, Touch had a mammoth lead. I think the fact that Preston Beckman didn’t tweet the demo, just total viewers (which I assume is where you got it) is telling

  2. Craig says:

    Also worth noting Touch and CSI had zero competition.

  3. Chris says:

    I thought Touch was wonderful. A great drama – but I can’t wait two months!!!

    • Emily says:

      I think I’m going to really enjoy watching a Jack Bauer with a fear of heights getting sent on missions by a mute child. DAMN IT, JAKE!

  4. fotreya says:

    Great ratings, of course. But the best new tv show ratings keep being Once Upon a Time, yes¡

  5. Carol C says:

    I loved Touch and can hardly wait for its return!

  6. Mico says:

    Touch’s demo rating is 3.9

  7. Amanda B. says:

    I watched both back-to-back and it was a great night of TV.

  8. Mico says:

    Mr. Mitovich, Terra Nova had a 3.2 demo in its 2-hour premiere. Not 3.0. At any rate, chances of its renewal I believe went slimmer given Touch’s impressive debut. Although the AI lead-in definitely gave it a boost.

  9. cindy says:

    Wait a minute, the next episode of Touch is on March 19. That’s a Monday! How can that be? House, Alcatraz, Touch can’t all fit. Matt, could you please clarify?

  10. Saint Alicia says:

    CM’s 150th ep was AWESOME. Between the (maybe) two different unsubs it had me guessing whether the woman was holding the actual guilty party captive. Way to keep it suspenseful! And the Hotch/Prentiss moments? #BeStillMyHeart.
    Hotch asked her to make a deal with him, to come talk to him when she’s having a bad day (they are so practically married). And later Hotch’s concerned face when he saw her sad expression at the end of the ep? Such lovely bookend jet scenes.
    One minor complaint, the conversation the two of them were about to have was just a fade to black over Prentiss’ sad face–I wanted to hear it!

    • Jennifer says:

      I agree. I read what Pagett said about the scene and in watching my assumption was she was referring to scene in the beginning as it was more conversational. BUT the few seconds or so of last scene was more emotional and THAT scene got me more then first one.
      Either way, this episode was one of their best.

  11. Chris says:

    Alcatraz will be over by then, Touch will replace the 9 PM hour

  12. kikay says:

    Loved Touch! Unique storyline and it is so nice to see Kiefer back on TV. Interested on how the show will proceed once it officially begins in March. Hope it has longer staying power than “Heroes”

  13. GK says:

    Touch’s premiere episode was very powerful. Loved it! Can’t believe they are making us wait for another 50 odd days for the next episode!

  14. kevin says:

    So happy to see Kiefer Sutherland back on TV with TOUCH. The premiere event was a work of art and the new drama series is destined to be one of Fox’s breakout hits and let’s hope Tim Kring doesn’t screw things up the same way he did with HEROES. So sad to see Marg Helgenberger saying goodbye to CSI but it looks like the hit crime drama won’t be the same without her and especially William Petersen.

  15. kevin says:

    By watching TOUCH, the character Jake Bohm is even better than Max Braverman from PARENTHOOD.

    • Alex says:

      I don’t know in what context exactly you mean “better”, but I think that Touch was careful not to put an exact label on whatever is going on with Jake so that they didn’t receive criticism for badly portraying a certain disorder, while Max is diagnosed with having aspergers. Both are kids around the same age with issues connecting socially, but they’re entirely different otherwise, and I don’t think terribly comparable.

  16. Kim R says:

    CSI…I guess I was a little disappointed in Catherine’s final episode. I thought the plot twist was good as far as the crime solving went but her walking around, sitting up from a laying down position, hugging people and walking fairly normal after being shot so badly just irritated me. :) The good-bye scene was so short I would have like it to tug at my heart more. I think I would have liked it better (in a strange way) if they had her die from either an infection or some complication from her injury. Just my 2 cents! :)

  17. Renee says:

    Happy for Keifer, but I really hope this doesn’t convince them to cancel Terra Nova.

  18. Jake says:

    Wow! i wonder when the Touch criticism will start lol im surprised theres so many comments and still nothing usually you get negative comments after like 2 comments lol well Touch was a good show, it sucks we have to wait till March for it to come back :/

  19. Amy says:

    hey NBC! Can you please cancel either Whitney or Are You There Chelsea? We’d like to watch Community now. Thanks a bunch

  20. Aude says:

    Love the ratings of Are You There, Chelsea, hope NBC will bring Community back soon !

  21. Sg.Grant says:

    Touch was phenomenal. Best new show of the season. Well, ok, I’ll put it in a tie with Person of Interest.

    • ESLKid75 says:

      POI’s pilot was great, but the next few episodes weren’t so… It seems it’s finally found its footing now though, so I’m happy about it.
      Hopefully Touch will find its footing faster than POI did…

  22. Alienate says:

    Ok, I’ll bite.

    Touch flat out annoyed the hell out of me.

    I’d list the reasons but I’d rather not get attacked by all you Touchy Feely types.

  23. Tessa says:

    I loved Touch. The premise of the show could easily feel contrived, and I doubt that it will stand the test of repetition, but the pilot successfully kept me distracted from dwelling on that. I don’t care about whatever science (or lack of) it’s based on, but I’m sure it will irk some percentage of the population. I’ve never really understood why people harp on how “real” the science or medicine is, unless it is painfully obvious that it’s being twisted for the sake of the plot. As long as Touch doesn’t mire itself too heavily in scientific explanations, I will accept it. If you want an education, go read a textbook.

  24. Dags says:

    Just watched Touched and really enjoyed it. Easily the best new show of the year: I was as captivated with this show as I was with Once.

    I think this show can expand more than Once which is why I cannot wait until March for regular viewings.