The two-hour return of Chuck gave the Buy More hero NBC's highest rating for the show since the show's special 3D telecast that aired the day after the Super Bowl.
The first episode of "Chuck" drew 7.7 million viewers and a healthy 3.0 preliminary rating among adults 18-49, with the second drawing 7.2 million and a 2.9 rating.
If you excluded the special 3D episode, you have to go all the way back to 2007 to find a "Chuck" episode rated this high. "Chuck" also improved 58% (!!) on its "Dateline" lead-in and was up 21% compared to last season's average.
The action-drama, which was barely renewed and at one point NBC considered airing the show on Friday nights, posted some of NBC's best scripted drama numbers this season.
Also performing well -- fantastic, actually -- last night was the "Simpsons" 450th episode and "20th Anniversary Special." There was some NFL overrun which is skewing these numbers, but first blush has both performing at least a 5.0 rating in the adult demo and the special drawing roughly 12 million viewers. Fox is estimating a 6.8 rating, which will make this the highest-rated "Simpsons" since it aired after the Super Bowl in 2005.
ABC's Desperate Housewives (14.0 million, 4.7) was down 11% in the demo from last week's eventful episode, which resolved the plane crash cliffhanger. Brothers & Sisters (10.5 million, 3.3) slipped by 8% while "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" (10.6 million, 3.2) held steady.
CBS aired a mix of repeats and originals.