The ratings for '90210' and 'Melrose Place' aren't going to cut it

90210_annalynnemccord_s2_290.jpgThe CW is calling the season premieres for "90210" and "Melrose Place" "solid," and if you slice the audience up a certain way the ratings for the two shows don't look all that bad. But they don't bode well for the two shows going into the teeth of the fall launch.

The network is touting how the two series did with its target audience of young women, and the fact that nearly all the audience for "90210" stuck around for "Melrose Place." About 2.6 million people watched "90210," and 2.3 million saw "Melrose Place." In the women 18-34 demographic that The CW targets, "90210" scored a 2.6 rating, and "Melrose" drew a 2.5.

Neither of those women 18-34 ratings, however, were good enough to win its time period (the honors went to "Hell's Kitchen" at 8 p.m. and "Big Brother" at 9). Yes, The CW tends to get a decent bump from from seven-day DVR viewing, but if The C-dub can't pull out a win in its target demo before the fall season really gets rolling, things are not likely to improve once the competition gets stiffer.

And it will get stiffer. NBC trots out a new season of "The Biggest Loser," which draws a lot of women, next week. The following week will bring another female-skewing unscripted show, ABC's "Dancing with the Stars." Sept. 22 also brings the premieres of "NCIS" and "NCIS: LA," which probably don't have much crossover with The CW's demo but will still command big pieces of the total audience.

FOX will air "Hell's Kitchen" through most of October, at which point two-hour performance episodes of "So You Think You Can Dance" -- yet another heavily female show -- move into the Tuesday-night spot.

Tuesday nights are shaping up to be a free-for-all as four of the five networks battle heavily for female viewers. It looks an awful lot like The CW is going to end up with scraps.

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