'House' Steamrolls into Fall Season
'House' Steamrolls into Fall Season
The return of the charmingly arrogant Dr. Gregory House on primetime television was a rousing success for the FOX network.  House ran away with the highest ratings Tuesday night with its fourth season premiere.

House came away with 18.1 million viewers and a 7.7 rating/19 share in the 18-49 adult demographic for the 9pm to 10 pm time slot.  The Hugh Laurie-led ensemble medical dramedy surged on despite competition from ABC's Dancing with the Stars and NBC's Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, which opened its ninth season.

House's impressive numbers made it the highest-rated premiere in the pivotal age bracket, for any network thus far in the 2007 fall season.  It was FOX's highest rated drama series premiere in almost seven years.  It was also the best rating House has ever reached without any lead-in assistance or spillover from American Idol.

House's Tuesday night showing also marked a seven percent increase from last year's numbers in the 18-49 age range, despite being about a million and a half fewer than last year's figure in total viewership.  House initially lagged behind Dancing with the Stars, which reeled in 19.8 million viewers to House's 16.9 million during its first half hour.  After Dancing with the Stars ended, House drew in more people to peak at 19.4 million between 9:30pm to 10pm.

Because of House's strong performance, particularly during its latter half, FOX bested the other networks in the 18-49 age group, with a 5.4 rating.  ABC and NBC were deadlocked in second place at 3.6 apiece, followed by CBS with 2.9 and The CW with 1.5.

Overall, FOX placed second with 13.2 million of the total viewers, next to ABC's 14.3 million.  NBC was third with 8.4 million, CBS fourth with 11.8 million and The CW still far down in the cellar with just 3.1 million.

-Rosario Santiago, BuddyTV Staff Columnist
Source: Reuters, Hollywood Reporter, E! Online
(Image Courtesy of Reuters)