Meredith Phillips might not have been every Bachelor fans first choice to star in the second installment of ABC's The Bachelorette series, however that clearly didn't stop viewers from tuning into the series premiere.

According to Nielsen's preliminary fast affiliate ratings for January 14, the season opener of the Phillips-led The Bachelorette series not only edged out NBC's The West Wing to win its time period among total viewers (12.4 million vs. 12.2 million) but also beat the NBC series across each of the key Adult demos: Adults 18-34 (5.6/15), Adults 18-49 (5.6/13) and Adults 25-54 (6.2/13). The West Wing did manage to eke out a win in the overall ratings/share -- 8.1/12 versus Bachelorette's 8.0/12.

The Bachelorette premiere ended the Wednesday evening as the night's No. 1 television show in Adults 18-49 (5.6/13), topping both NBC's Law & Order (5.3/14) and the season finale of Fox's The Simple Life (5.5/14).

Keeping in line with past installments of the franchise, The Bachelorette showed strong tune-in throughout its broadcast. From its first to its second half-hour, The Bachelorette grew by 1.8 million viewers (11.5 million to 13.3 million) and by 20% in Adults 18-49 (5.1/12 to 6.1/15).

While the Bachelorette premiere compared quite well with last fall's Bob Guiney-led fourth edition of The Bachelor (which drew 12.5 million viewers and a 6.0/16 Adults 18-49 rating/share), Bachelorette 2's premiere numbers fell well short of the 17.6 million viewers and 8.5/20 Adults 18-49 drawn by January 2003's premiere of the original Trista Rehn-led Bachelorette series.