Boston Legal Returns

ABC's Boston Legal returned Tuesday night, with repeats airing on what will be its new night and in its new time period (10 p.m.).

The drama was bumped in March to give Grey's Anatomy a four-episode tryout, but the medical drama performed so well as the lead-out to hit Desperate Housewives that it never relinquished the Sunday 10 p.m. slot.

That allowed ABC to stockpile unaired episodes of Boston Legal for the fall and move that drama to the open Tuesday slot after the failure of Steven Bochco's Blind Justice to establish itself in his former NYPD Blue slot.

The return of Boston Legal averaged a 1.8 rating/5 share in the Nielsen overnight ratings 18-49 demo Tuesday, well below what ABC did with a music special the week before (2.4/7), but well above what it was getting with original series, The Empire, which failed to conquer, ending its run two weeks ago in the time period with a disappointing 1.4/4.

For the night, CBS won the 18-49 demo handily with a 2.9/8 thanks to strong showings from reality series staple Big Brother (3.5/10) and new reality sing-off Rock Star: INXS (3.0/8).

Fox was second on the night with a 2.2/7, thanks to drama, House, and reality show Trading Spouses.

ABC was third with a 1.9/6. Its top show was a repeat of According to Jim at 9 (2.3/7).

NBC was fourth with a 1.8/5, failing to get much of a bump from the second outing of reality show Meet Mr. Mom (1.7/6), in which husbands are asked to walk a few miles in their wives' track shoes, though that was a slight improvement over the 1.6/7 it averaged in its debut the week before.

NBC drew even less of a crowd to I Want To Be a Hilton, which averaged a 1.6/4 at 9, about even with the previous week. NBC's top show was a Law & Order: SVU repeat at a 2.3/6.

The WB was fifth with a 1.1/3 for back-to-back Gilmore Girls, while UPN averaged a .8/2 for repeats of its sitcom lineup.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.