Glee returned from a long hiatus with the most-watched and highest-rated episode in the series' history.
Glee drew 13.6 million viewers, retaining 78 percent of American Idol's audience (20.2 million viewers), according to Nielsen overnight estimates. The show also claimed its highest-ever rating among 18-to-49-year-olds and the highest Nielsen rating of any scripted freshman show this season, according to Fox. Additionally, the episode improved 44 percent over the post-Idol-finale preview last May.
NBC placed a distant second in the demo behind Fox for the night, as The Biggest Loser (8.3 million viewers) improved 10 percent over last week in the demo. Parenthood (6.4 million viewers) remained strong against the encroaching Glee, dipping only slightly in the demo from the previous week.
Nipping at NBC's heels was ABC. The Dancing with the Stars result show (13.4 million viewers) improved ever so slightly week-to-week, while Lost (9.5 million viewers) and V (5.9 million viewers) both slid down a notch.
CBS placed fourth for the night with repeats of NCIS (10.8 million viewers), NCIS: Los Angeles (10.3 million viewers) and The Good Wife (7.9 million viewers). For the CW, 90210 pulled in 1.5 million viewers and Melrose Place's season (and perhaps series) finale drew 1.1 million viewers.