"At 9 p.m., the debut of "Commander In Chief," 10.9/16, captured the night's biggest audience. "House," 8.3/12, moved FOX up to second, ahead of the premiere of "The Amazing Race: Family Edition" (7.0/10) on CBS. "My Name Is Earl," 7.0/10, had a decent second week for NBC, but "The Office" dropped to 4.8/7, giving the Peacock at 5.9/9 for the hour. "Supernatural" kept The WB in fifth, while the debut of "Sex, Love & Secrets" barely registered for UPN, coming in at 1.0/1."
The Washington Post compares the data to "West Wing":
""Commander in Chief" -- starring Geena Davis as a political independent who somehow winds up vice president to ultra-conservative Teddy Roosevelt Bridges, who dies but not before telling her to step down so the ultra-evil speaker of the House (Donald Sutherland) can be named to replace him, only she ignores him because that's what we women do and, honestly, what did he expect? -- copped 16.4 million viewers at 9 p.m. Tuesday.
This is virtually identical to the 16.9 million who in September '99 caught the first episode of "The West Wing," which supposedly starred Rob Lowe as the Oval Office hottie but really starred serial-arrestee/actor Martin Sheen as president of the United States.
Here's a surprise: "Commander in Chief" was not the most watched show at 9 p.m. Tuesday in the Washington market.
It finished second, behind Fox's doc drama "House." Here in our fair city, "CiC" averaged 329,000 viewers to 422,000 for "House." So people in Washington are interested in something besides White House politics; they're also interested in strange terminal diseases.
In fact, when it comes to "CiC" ratings, Washington ranked 23 out of 53 metered markets. The show's No. 1 market was -- Cincinnati. Followed by Pittsburgh, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Philadelphia, Buffalo and Tulsa. Also in the top 10 were Detroit, Denver and Columbus, Ohio. Is Middle America more ready for a female president than the coasts? Or are people there more horrified and love to be scared?
Nationally, the "CiC" premiere drew other parallels to the unveiling of "The West Wing."
For instance, the median age of Tuesday's "Commander in Chief" episode was 54.7 years. The median age for viewers of the first "West Wing" was 50.7 years. Which, given that "West Wing" premiered six years ago, means they're probably pretty much the very same people.
Like "West Wing," "CiC" skewed sort of old; political shows usually do. "CiC" did its biggest rating and won its time slot among viewers 50 and older. That demographic rating also was virtually identical to that of the first "West Wing" episode.
The "West Wing" premiere audience was broader than that of "CiC," with bigger ratings in younger demographic groups.
Ironically, in Tuesday's 9 p.m. hour, "CiC" and "House" split the 25-54 audience. Women preferred to watch Geena Davis; men went with "House," which stars Hugh Laurie as a dysfunctionally cynical, completely rumpled, and yet somehow hot and brilliant doctor who diagnoses diseases no one else can figure out.
"House" won the race in the hour among 18-to-49-year-olds; that's the age bracket advertisers pay a premium to reach. And while "House" ranked No. 1 among teens, our Fantasy Female President finished a sad fifth in the teen race."