ABC Wins Wednesday as 'Practice' Grows

TVWeek's James Hibberd: Rated

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Third-week growing pains continued as most freshman shows settled deeper into their time periods and a few posted promising gains.

ABC won the night led by "Private Practice," which grew 7 percent in its time period to a 4.8 preliminary rating among adults 18 to 49. "Practice" was the highest-rated show of the evening and is one of a scant few freshman series to exhibit third-week growth (expect ABC Entertainment President Steve McPherson to order a full season pickup in five, four, three...).

The second week of "Pushing Daisies" dropped 16 percent in the preliminary ratings in adults 18 to 49 to a 3.6. Given last week's strong premiere rating and critics' concerns that the quirky drama would alienate mainstream audiences, the modest second-week drop makes "Daisies" a fairly good-news story for the network. At 10 p.m., "Dirty Sexy Money" dropped a notch to a 3.4.

CBS' lineup took a hit in the 8 p.m. hour as "Kid Nation" fell yet again to a 2.0, down 17 percent. At this point, the only thing controversial about the show is its dropping Nielsens. But "Criminal Minds" held steady at 9 p.m. with a 3.8 and "CSI: NY" improved a tick to a 4.0.

NBC was a close runner-up for third place, with "Deal or No Deal" growing to a 3.1, followed by a still-sinking "Bionic Woman," down 7 percent to a 3.8, tying with "Criminal Minds." "Life" also slipped a couple of notches, down about 7 percent to a 2.8.

Fox came in fourth, with "Back to You" and "Til Death" slipping slightly to a 2.2 and 2.4, respectively. At 9 p.m., "Kitchen Nightmares" joined the gainers, growing for the second week in a row, up a tenth to a 3.0.

On The CW, "America's Next Top Model" bounced back up to match its premiere 2.5 rating. The full-season order of "Gossip Girl" shouldn't cause any second-guessing at the network this morning, with the show gaining a notch to a 1.3.
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