Updated with final stats: An average audience of 651,000 viewers caught the kick-off of Mike Rowe’s Somebody’s Gotta Do It second season on CBS, hanging on to nearly all of his Anderson Cooper lead-in (656,000).  The series’ return clocked 316,000 news demo viewers, putting CNN within spitting distance of Fox News Channel’s Megyn Kelly’s 317,000 news demo viewers at 9 PM.  Over at MSNBC, meanwhile, Rachel Maddow was a couple laps behind Rowe and Kelly, with 164,000 news demo viewers.

In overall audience, however, Maddow’s 813,000 viewers bested Rowe. But Kelly squashed them both, with 1.99 million viewers, despite her not having enjoyed her Bill O’Reilly Bump last night, what with him being off.

Rowe’s initial ratings performance is down compared to his show’s unveiling last fall – down 38% in demo and down 31% in total viewers from his first season debut –  but up noticeably compared to his first-season finale.

When Rowe’s CNN show first hit the air, on October 8, 2014, he clocked 507,000 news demo viewers, and 943,000 viewers of all ages. But, by his final two episodes, last December, he had fallen to 197,000 and 114,000 viewers in the 25-54 age bracket, and 485,000 and 470,000 viewers aged 2+.

Question for Rowe’s second season will be whether CNN can do a better job this season hanging on to last night’s opening numbers.

Rowe’s news-demo represents a 109% boost for CNN in the timeslot compared to prior four Thursdays (316,000 vs. 151,000).  In overall primetime last night, CNN averaged 253,000 viewers in the age bracket, ahead of MSNBC’s 125,000 by 102%.  Fox News finished first, with an average of 329,000.