Sarah Michelle Gellar's new CW drama series "Ringer" debuted on Tuesday to lukewarm ratings.
The show marks the 34-year-old actress' first regular television project since the show that made her famous, "Buffy The Vampire Slayer," ended eight years ago.
The pilot of "Ringer" aired on 9 p.m. on Tuesday and was watched by an estimated 2.74 million viewers, earning a 1.2 rating in the coveted demographic of adults aged 18 to 49. It ranked behind "America's Got Talent," "NCIS: Los Angeles" and ABC's special about Jacqueline Kennedy in the time slot.
Gellar plays Bridget, a recovering addict who goes on the run after witnessing a murder. After her estranged and wealthy twin, Siobhan, disappears mysteriously, Bridget assumes her sister's identity and quickly learns that her sister had her own shocking secrets.
While playing Bridget when she is not impersonating her twin in front of others, Gellar displays the vulnerable but brave persona she often showcased as Buffy. The actress' portrayal of Siobhan as herself brings to mind Gellar's performance as conniving New York socialite Kathryn Merteuil in the 1999 film "Cruel Intentions."
The CW said in a statement that "Ringer" helped give the network its largest Tuesday night audience in more than two years. The pilot episode is set to air again on Friday, Sept. 16 at 8 p.m. ET and on Monday, Sept. 19 at 9 p.m. ET.
The NBC reality show "America's Got Talent" won the 9 p.m. time slot on Tuesday with 13.2 million viewers and an average rating of 3.6. The episode showed the final performances of four finalists and the winner will be announced on Wednesday on the season 6 finale.
"NCIS: Los Angeles" was watched by about 8.5 million viewers and earned a rating of 1.5 among the 18-49 demographic. ABC's Kennedy special received a 1.6 rating and had an audience of about 8.4 million people.
Gellar, who has a strong fan following mostly due to her role on "Buffy The Vampire Slayer," told fans at San Diego Comic-Con in July: We wanted to come back and do a show that fans would love that would be different but still exciting."
Since "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" ended its run 2003 after seven seasons, Gellar has been working in films with roles in "The Grudge" series, "Southland Tales" and voice work for "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles." The actress married Freddie Prinze Jr. in September 2001 and gave birth to a daughter, Charlotte Prinze, in September 2009.