The debut of SmackDown on FOX last night averaged 3.87 million viewers in the fast nationals, which measure the top metered markets. SmackDown easily won the night in the key 18-49 demos and finished second to CBS overall.
The number was lower than most industry predictions of 4.0 million to 4.5 million, but on its own is a tremendous rating for pro wrestling.
The show did a 1.35 in the key demo, well ahead of second place Magnum P.I. on CBS that did a 0.7.
The goal of SmackDown is to average a 1.0 in that demo, and this first week with all the hotshotting and a 1.35 says that average is very far from a given.
Based on preliminary numbers, SmackDown will finish sixth for the week in the 18-49 demo.
Early indications are the show did about 70 percent male viewers, a far higher skew than WWE programming has done in years. In the male 18-49 demo, it more than tripled everything else on network television.
The actual ratings will be released on Tuesday morning.