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.