Turns out everyone seems to like the New Girl just as much as the critics do.
The show, starring Zooey Deschanel as a clueless, adorable, dorky recently single girl, forced to live with three bros, was a hit with viewers in its first episode ever. The FOX sitcom pulled in 10.1 million viewers and had an impressive 4.7 adults 18-49 rating, tops of the night.
The high numbers make it Fox's highest rated sitcom since The Bernie Mac Show.
The news was not as rosy for New Girl's FOX sitcom neighbor, Glee, which actually had less viewers than the freshman New Girl, a rarity for an established hit leading into a new show. The show about high school kids who like to sing has been one of the most popular, talked about TV series of the last two years. However its good fortune may be coming to an end as the show's ratings dipped considerably from last year.
In its season three debut, Glee got 8.91 million viewers (3.8 rating with 18-49 year olds). This is a long ways away from the 12.45 million viewers the show got in its season two debut, a 32 percent decline. The dip could be a sign the show's fan base was not a fan of last season, which was widely panned by critics for its unevenness, reliance on stunt casting and constant preaching.
It also could be a sign that the song and dance era isn't as popular as it was even one year ago. ABC's Dancing with the Stars first results episode of the new season attracted 14.54 million viewers, down 36 percent from last season's first results episode. Last year's American Idol was the lowest rated season ever.
It will be interesting to see how Simon Cowell's The X Factor does when it debuts on FOX tonight. If the show doesn't perform well against tepid competition (CBS' Survivor, ABC's The Middle, and NBC's Up All Night and Free Agents.), it would certainly be a sign that the genre of TV isn't a guaranteed hit maker anymore.
It's also important to note that the first week of a new TV season isn't always the greatest barometer of how a show will do that year. In the past, shows that have debuted with huge numbers have seen them taper off as the season went along. Vice versa, shows that have poor starts to the season can gain viewers as it moves along.