Heroes emerged as the #1 new series on television in adults 18-49 and other key adult demos, and, for the third consecutive week, NBC was the most-improved network in primetime versus the same week last year, averaging a 3.6 rating and 10 share in 18-49 and 9.9 million viewers overall for the week of October 2-8, according to in-home viewing figures from Nielsen Media Research.

Versus the third week of last season, NBC this week was up 6 percent in adults 18-49 (3.6 vs. 3.4), up 2 percent in adults 25-54 (4.2 vs. 4.1) and up 3 percent in total viewers (9.9 million vs. 9.7 million). NBC was the only network to exhibit year-to-year growth this week in adults 18-49 and adults 25-54.

NBC's Heroes was the highest-rated freshman series on television this week in the key demographic of adults 18-49, with its second episode on Monday, Oct. 2 ranking #9 among all 91 programs last week in that key demo. Heroes was also the top-ranked new series in adults 18-34, in which it averaged a 5.2/14 and ranked #5 for the week, and in adults 25-54, in which it averaged a 6.1/13 and ranked # 13.

For the first three weeks of the 2006-07 television season, NBC is the only network showing year-to-year gains in adults 18-49, where the network is up 15 percent versus the same period last year (3.8 rating versus 3.3). In that same comparison, CBS is flat, ABC is down 2 percent and Fox is down 7 percent. Season-to-date in total viewers, three of the four major networks are up year-to-year, with NBC reporting the biggest increases. NBC is up versus the opening two weeks of the season last year by 10 percent (10.496 million vs. 9.553 million) while CBS is up 1 percent, ABC is up 3 percent and Fox is down 2 percent.