CBS's latest crime-solving
drama, "Numb3rs," lived up to its name in its debut.
Aided in no small part by
a big lead-in from the network's coverage of the AFC championship
game Sunday (Jan. 23), "Numb3rs" attracted one of the biggest
audiences for a series premiere this season: about 20.9 million viewers.
CBS opted to
air the "Numb3rs" premiere immediately after
the game across the country rather than delaying it in
the Mountain and Pacific time zones, as is usually done.
The total-viewer number is a preliminary Nielsen estimate;
it's likely to go up some when final ratings are released
stars David Krumholtz as a mathematician who uses his expertise to
help his FBI-agent brother (Rob Morrow) crack cases, moves to its
regular time period at 10 p.m. ET Friday, where it won't have the
benefit of such a huge lead-in.
The AFC title game, which saw the New England Patriots beat the Pittsburgh
Steelers and advance to their second straight Super Bowl, averaged
around 40 million viewers, according to early Nielsen numbers.
Even in the face of such stiff competition, ABC's strong Sunday
lineup managed to deliver big ratings. "Extreme Makeover: Home
Edition" (18.2 million viewers), "Desperate Housewives"
(25.9 million) and "Boston Legal" (15.8 million) all came
in well above their season averages.