“Glee” returned with an absolute bang Tuesday, posting a strong 5.5 adults 18-49 rating with 12.3 million viewers in its new 8PM timeslot.

While that number does not mark too significant a jump from the show’s performance at the end of season one, all of those episodes either aired with an “American Idol” lead-in or against significantly weaker competition. The performance should give “Glee” the adults 18-49 victory by a convincing margin Tuesday.

FOX’s lead-out comedies “Raising Hope” and “Running Wilde” were significantly less successful, but it will take another week or two of decline before alarms are sounded. “Hope” immediately followed “Glee” with a 3.1 rating and 7.5 million, while “Wilde” was down to a 2.5 and 5.9 million.

Considering FOX has often had trouble building series out of its flagships (of all the attempts, “American Idol” has only been truly successful in revitalizing “House” and accelerating the growth of “Glee”), if those comedies can hold those numbers, FOX would probably be accepting.

If, however, they were artificially spiked Tuesday by curiosity buzz, the ratings could start to enter murky water. Given lukewarm reviews for “Hope” and fairly underwhelming reviews for “Wilde,” predicting a decline next week is probably the safe bet.

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