For the third time in four weeks, NBC has earned a share of the Sunday lead among adults 18-49, aided last night by strong premiere numbers from the new reality series “The Restaurant.”

According to preliminary “fast affiliate-based” in-home viewing figures from Nielsen Media Research, the 10-11 p.m. ET debut of “The Restaurant” (3.0 rating, 9 share among adults 18-49, 7.7 million viewers overall) finished a strong #2 in the hour among adults 18-49 and total viewers and rose to #1 among adults 18-34, women 18-34 and women 18-49.

The Restaurant” retained a strong 88 percent of its 18-49 lead-in from “Law & Order: Criminal Intent.” Among adults 18-34, “The Restaurant” built on its “Criminal Intent” lead-in by a powerful 12 percent (with a 2.9 rating vs. a 2.6).

From its first half-hour to its second, “The Restaurant” closed the gap on CBS’ special competition, a “CSI” rebroadcast, cutting the “CSI” lead down from 10 percent to 3 percent from half-hour to half-hour.