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GCB Premieres to Respectable Ratings

GOOD CHRISTIAN BELLES - The soap returns to Dallas in this wicked new drama that shows that you can go home again... but only if you're ready to face the sins of your past. "Good Christian Belles" stars Leslie Bibb ("Iron Man") as Amanda Vaughn, Kristin Chenoweth ("Pushing Daisies") as Carlene Cockburn, Annie Potts ("Law and Order: Special Victims Unit," "Joan of Arcadia") as Gigi Stopper, Jennifer Aspen ("Rodney") as Sharon Peacham, Miriam Shor ("Swingtown" "Damages") as Cricket Caruth-Reilly, Marisol Nichols ("24") as Heather Cruz, Brad Beyer ("Jericho") as Zack Peacham, Mark Deklin ("Lone Star") as Blake Reilly and David James Elliott ("JAG") as Ripp Cockburn. Based on Kim Gatlin's hit book, Good Christian Bitches, "Good Christian Belles" is executive-produced by Darren Star ("Sex and the City"), Robert Harling ("Steel Magnolias") and Aaron Kaplan. The pilot is written by Robert Harling and executive-produced and directed by Alan Poul. "Good Christian Belles" is produced by ABC Studios.  (ABC/BILL MATLOCK)

GCB, the latest of ABC's seemingly never-ending parade of midseason shows, debuted last night to so-so Nielsen numbers. The southern soap drew about 7.6 million viewers in its 10 p.m. premiere and averaged a 2.2 rating with adults under 50, finishing second in overall viewership to CSI: Miami and behind the second hour of Celebrity Apprentice with younger viewers. GCB did worse than last fall's premiere of Pan Am in the same slot, but represented a sharp improvement over what the now-grounded jetliner drama had been averaging in recent weeks. Another positive for GCB: It retained almost all of its Desperate Housewives audience. Overall, not an awful start, but not the big breakout drama hit for which ABC had been praying. 

Photo: Bill Matlock/ABC