NBC has gotten bad news by the bushel this season, but this week its new Thursday night lineup looked pretty good. "The Office," the sitcom starring Steve Carell as the world's most embarrassing boss, delivered its most-watched episode, with 10.3 million total viewers, according to early data from Nielsen Media Research. Also, "My Name Is Earl," with Jason Lee as a rehabilitated loser, easily won its 9 p.m. time slot in the crucial 18-to-49 demographic -- although in total viewers (12.5 million) it was no match for ABC's "Dancing With the Stars" (18.3 million from 9 to 9:30 p.m.).
"The Office," whose future has been in doubt because of low ratings, held its own opposite the premiere of ABC's new sitcom "Crumbs" (12 million). CBS ran a full night of repeats, including a rerun of its monster hit "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" (17.7 million).