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‘Chicago Fire,’ ‘P.D.’ off to strong ratings start, especially in their hometown

There’s nothing like a good, old-fashioned cliffhanger to get a show’s season premiere off to a strong start in the ratings.

“Chicago Fire” and “Chicago P.D.” both ended last season with a big question mark: Who survived the exploding building (“Fire”) and who killed Jin (“P.D.”)?

Both questions were answered in Tuesday and Wednesday’s respective season premieres of the NBC dramas, and plenty of folks tuned in to find out.

RELATED: ‘Chicago Fire’ showrunner ready to take the heat for killing off a main character

The third season debut of “Fire” nearly reached a series’ high with 9.1 million total viewers — 200,000 shy of its Dec. 10, 2013 record and its second biggest audience to date, according to Nielsen data.

(Lady Gaga’s jubilation about breaking the record was based on Nielsen’s “fast national” overnight data. The actual numbers were adjusted down a bit when the final tallies came in. It’s still a cute Twitter high five to her “Chicago Fire” beau, though.)

In the advertiser-coveted adult demo of 18-to-49-year-olds, “Fire” boasted a healthy 2.6 rating — enough to give NBC a win over CBS (“Person of Interest”) and ABC (“Forever”) in the 9 p.m. hour.

RELATED: ‘Fire’ fans react to emotional season premiere

Of all the Nielsen markets, Chicago ranked No. 1 for “Fire” in terms of the percentage of local viewers watching Tuesday’s premiere (4.3 percent).

Some 395,800 viewers in the Chicago market tuned in to catch the Firehouse 51 action, compared to 362,300 for CBS’s older-skewing “Person of Interest” and 192,800 for the next closest program, the even older-skewing WGN 9 p.m. News.

While “Chicago Fire” posted better premiere ratings than spinoff “Chicago P.D.” nationally (8.45 million), that wasn’t the case here in Chicago.

RELATED: Meet ‘Chicago P.D.’s’ newest recruit

Wednesday’s season two debut of “P.D.” racked up 456,100 total viewers in the Chicago market, or 60,300 more than “Fire” the night before.

“P.D.” also drew more 18-to-49-year-olds: 159,500 versus “Fire’s” 119,800.

Locally, “P.D.” had nearly twice as many total viewers as the time slot’s next closest competition, ABC’s “Nashville” at 223,100.

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