Community (4.9m/2.2), returning after a hiatus, and 8.30pm's 30 Rock (4m/2.0) benefited from a lack of comedy competition from rival network CBS.
The Tiffany Network's NCAA Basketball coverage maintained an audience of 4.7m (1.7) between 8pm and 11pm.
However, NBC's luck ran out in the 9pm hour, as The Office (4.9m/2.3) and Up All Night (3.6m/1.7) failed to win extra viewers despite a stronger lead-in. 10pm's Awake drew a solid 5.1m (1.6).
New ABC drama Missing, starring Ashley Judd as a worried mother trying to trace her lost son, made a respectable start with 10.6m (2.0). Axed 8pm predecessor Charlie's Angels began with a better demo score.
Grey's Anatomy (9.7m/3.0) and Private Practice (7m/2.2) followed on the Alphabet Network.
Meanwhile, the latest American Idol results show picked up 15.5m (4.2), after which a Touch repeat had a decent 8.7m (2.2) at 9pm.
The Vampire Diaries logged 2.6m (1.2) for The CW at 8pm, then 1.6m (0.7) watched The Secret Circle.