Fast National ratings for Tuesday, July 21, 2009.

Older viewers may not necessarily have known why FOX's "Hell's Kitchen" was returning so soon, but younger audiences flocked to another installment of Chef Gordon Ramsay's potty-mouthed culinary antics.

Among adults 18-49, FOX won Tuesday night with a 3.0 rating. NBC was a strong second in the key demographic with a 2.5 rating. CBS' 1.5 rating and the 1.1 rating for ABC followed. The CW's 0.4 rating was fifth.

Overall, though, NBC averaged an estimated 9.79 million viewers in primetime to go with a 6.1 rating/11 share. CBS was a distant second with a 4.2/7, with FOX's 3.8/7 close behind in third. ABC was fourth overall with a 2.3/4, while The CW trailed with a 0.8/1.

CBS began the night in first with a 6.2/11 for "NCIS." NBC's "America's Got Talent" repeat was a close second. The first hour of FOX's "Hell's Kitchen" premiere had a 3.6/6 overall and won the hour with a 2.8 rating among adults 18-49. ABC's "The Superstars" was fourth with a 2.2/4, leaving The CW in fifth with "90210."

NBC moved into first at 9 p.m. with an 8.2/14 for "America's Got Talent," which also had a 3.4 rating to win the 18-49 demo. FOX's "Hell's Kitchen" was a distant second overall with a 4.0/7, but a close second with a 3.3 rating in the key demo. CBS' "Big Brother" was close behind FOX in third, while ABC's new "Better Off Ted" and a "Scrubs" repeat averaged only a 1.3/2 between them. The CW's "Hitched or Ditched" had a 0.7/1 to follow.

"Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" had a 5.0/9 in the 10 p.m. hour, keeping NBC in first. ABC's "Primetime: Family Secret" had a 3.4/6 for second, topping CBS' airing of "Medium."

 

All ratings information comes from preliminary Fast National Nielsen data, which includes live and same-day DVR viewing. All numbers are subject to change.