This won't go over well with The Donald: Despite airing against repeats on CBS, ABC and Fox, the return of The Apprentice on Thursday logged its lowest-rated telecast ever among adults 18-49 (1.5 rating/5 share) and only averaged 4.7 million viewers, according to fast national results from Nielsen. The show dropped 53% from its Celebrity Edition last spring in the key demographic and 63% from its last non-celebrity premiere on Jan. 1, 2007. It was also down 29% from its previous all-time franchise low in the fall 2005.
Last night's premiere was also down 44% from the Thursday debut of The Jay Leno Show on Sept. 17, 2009.
NBC attempted to take the glass half-full approach when looking at the reality show's performance. It did rank No. 2 in the time slot among men 18-34, 18-49 and 25-54 and grew 14 percent from its first half-hour to its fourth among adults 18-49. It also was the No. 2 ranked show among adults 18-34 and women 18-34 in the second hour.
Overall, CBS won the night in viewers (7.94 million), followed by ABC (5.75 million), NBC (4.28 million) and Fox (2.44 million). On the CW, meanwhile, the second week of Nikita built on its lead-in from The Vampire Diaries in viewers (3.35 million versus 3.04 million).