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Ratings didn’t work for ‘Martha’

Audiences might not be as charmed by Martha Stewart’s post-prison rehabilitation as some TV executives thought.

The premiere of NBC’s reality series “The Apprentice: Martha Stewart” just didn’t fit in with most viewers’ plans Wednesday night, with a paltry 7.7 million tuning in, according to early figures from Nielsen Media Research. “Martha” was a weak second to ABC’s “Destination: Lost” (14.6 million), a special promoting the desert-island thriller “Lost.” Among adults 18 to 34, “Martha” was edged out by UPN’s fifth-year premiere of “America’s Next Top Model.”

At 9 p.m., the second-season premiere of “Lost” hit its highest rating yet (23.1 million total viewers), crushing NBC’s new Pentagon drama “E-Ring” (9.4 million).

At 10 p.m., ABC’s new sci-fi thriller “Invasion” opened to strong numbers (16.9 million), although in a somewhat worrisome sign for the network, the show lost 10% of its audience as it progressed. Still, “Invasion” was powerful enough to crimp the 16th-season premiere of NBC’s “Law & Order” (13.1 million), which suffered a rare third-place finish among young adults thanks to a repeat of CBS’ “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.”

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“Law & Order” will face even tougher competition when original episodes of CBS’ “CSI: NY” return to the slot starting next week.

-- Scott Collins


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