FALL SEASON KICKS OFF WITH CBS ON TOP

CBS remained the ratings leader as the fall season was officially launched last week -- but this time with a new/old show topping the Nielsen ratings list. NCIS, which returned for a seventh season, took the No. 1 spot with 20.6 million viewers. (It repeated again last night with the identical number.) Moreover, its spinoff, NCIS: Los Angeles, debuted in a tie for second place with 17.8 million viewers. (Last night it drew 17.4 million.) While NCIS: L.A. was the only new series to make the Nielsen top ten, another new CBS drama, The Good Wife, another Tuesday fixture, got off to an impressive start at No. 15. ABC also had solid results for new shows Modern Family (No. 20), FlashForward (No. 21), and Cougar Town (No. 23). For the week, CBS averaged a 7.3 rating and a 12 share. ABC placed second with a 7.1/12. NBC placed a distant third with a 4.8/8, edging out Fox with a 4.3/7.

The top ten shows of the week according to Nielsen Research:

1. NCIS, CBS, 12.4/20; 2. Dancing with the Stars (Monday), ABC, 11.3/17; 2. (Tie) NCIS: Los Angeles, CBS, 11.3/17; 4. Grey's Anatomy, ABC, 10.9/18; 5. Sunday Night Football, NBC, 10.7/17; 6. Dancing with the Stars (Tuesday); 7. Dancing with the Stars Results (Wednesday), ABC, 10/17; 8. House, Fox, 9.8/15; 9. CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, CBS, 9.7/15; 10. 60 Minutes, CBS, 9.6/17; 10. (Tie) Criminal Minds, CBS, 9.6/15.

MYNETWORKTV IS OFFICIALLY NO NETWORK ANYMORE

MyNetworkTV, which really is nobody's network TV any longer, will henceforth have its programs rated as if they were syndicated -- that is, once a week instead of daily. Nielsen Research said Tuesday that MyNetworkTV had stopped providing it with programming information. On Monday the network begain airing mostly reruns, movies and wrestling, and in fact those programs fared better during the first days of this week than the original programs they replaced.

OPRAH'S RATINGS SOAR IN SEASON DEBUT

Defying analysts who said that her decision to support Barrack Obama for the presidency last year alienated core viewers, Oprah Winfrey launched her new season last week with a ratings leap of 39 percent. The Oprah Winfrey Show, which averaged 8.4 million viewers, also beat out the usual syndication winner, Wheel of Fortune in overall households (although it attracted fewer actual viewers). At the same time, the Oprah spin-off Dr. Oz debuted with the highest syndication ratings for any new show in three years, according to Nielsen Research. Several other daytime talk shows boasted hefty ratings increases, including Ellen (up 5 percent), Maury (13 percent), and Jerry Springer (9 percent).

TLC MINUSES JON FROM PLUS EIGHT

Jon & Kate Plus Eight will soon be minus Jon. TLC, which produces and airs the show, said that it will relaunch it in November as Kate Plus Eight, focusing on Kate Gosselin's "journey as a single mother building the next chapter in her life." Jon, the cable network said, "will continue to appear on the show but on a less regular basis." Jon Gosselin has been saying in interviews that he would like to leave the reality series. Eileen O'Neill, TLC's president and general manager, commented: "The family has evolved and we are attempting to evolve with it; we feel that Kate's journey really resonates with our viewers."

WEB ADVERTISING OVERTAKES TV ADVERTISING IN U.K.

A new report by the U.K.'s Internet Advertising Bureau indicates that advertising on the Internet has overtaken TV ad spending in Britain for the first time. Web ads now account for about 24 percent of U.K. ad spending versus 22 percent on TV. However, in reporting the figures, Advertising Age cautioned: "Consider that the U.K. TV market is a highly restricted one with a massive player that doesn't take ads (BBC) and one that's been particularly battered during the recession. On top of that, online spending in the U.K. has been anything but immune to the recession, with its torrid rates of growth seen as recently as early 2008 falling off dramatically."