Metallica's "Death Magnetic" is still sticking to No. 1 on the Billboard 200 this week, becoming only the second album to spend three consecutive weeks at No. 1 this year ... the top 10 of the Billboard 200 greets five debuts from Demi Lovato, the Pussycat Dolls, Kings of Leon, Jazmine Sullivan and Joe ... In Progress Reports we've got news on Tim McGraw's latest top 10 hit, Theory of a Deadman's modern success, the Killers' big bow with its new single "Human" and Natasha Bedingfield's hot streak on the Dance Club Play chart. (PLEASE NOTE: This story was updated at 2:41 PST on Oct. 1 after Nielsen SoundScan revised their charts.)


FLASH POINTS

• Metallica's "Death Magnetic" holds for a third consecutive week at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, making it only the second album this year to claim three straight weeks in the penthouse. Back in February, Jack Johnson's "Sleep Through the Static" spent its first three weeks at No. 1. Last week, "Death Magnetic" shifted 132,000 (down 61% from the previous week), bringing its to-date sales total to 959,000.

• It's a safe bet that Metallica's reign will end next week, as T.I.'s "Paper Trail" arrived to market yesterday and seems a sure shot for No. 1. The rapper's last two albums both started at the top of the Billboard 200 -- 2007's "T.I. Vs. T.I.P." began with 468,000 while 2006's "King" entered with 522,000.

• Five new entries are welcomed into the top 10 of the Billboard 200 this week, led by Disney star Demi Lovato and her debut effort "Don't Forget" (No. 2 with 89,000). The star of "Camp Rock" was also a featured voice on that TV movie's soundtrack, which reached No. 3 earlier this year.

• The Pussycat Dolls return with the ensemble's sophomore set, "Doll Domination," strutting in at No. 4 with 79,000. The group, now down to five members (but still fronted by lead Doll Nicole Scherzinger), has sold 2.9 million copies of its first album, "PCD." The new set was led by the stomping single "When I Grow Up," which has moved through 1.4 million digital downloads and peaked at No. 9 on the Billboard Hot 100.

• With each successive album, Kings of Leon continues to reach new heights. Its new set, "Only By the Night," climbs in at No. 5 with just over 74,000 on the Billboard 200. That's light years beyond what its first release, "Youth and Young Manhood," did back in 2003, when it entered at No. 113 with 11,000. Then, in 2005, "Aha Shake Heartbreak" did even better, bowing at No. 55 with 20,000. But wait, there's more: the act's third album, 2007's "Because of the Times," started at No. 25 with 41,000 ... The band also celebrates more exciting chart news -- it also holds down the No. 1 slots on both the Official U.K. Albums Chart and Singles Chart this week.

• Jazmine Sullivan, who recently took her debut single "Need U Bad" to No. 1 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, now sees her first album, "Fearless," bow at No. 6 on the Billboard 200 (66,000) and No. 1 on Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart ... Joe makes his return to the Billboard 200 with his first album away from Jive Records, as "Joe Thomas, New Man" starts at No. 8 with 54,000.

• Many other albums arrive high on the Billboard 200 this week, including TV on the Radio's "Dear Science" (No. 12 with 34,000), Jackson Browne's "Time the Conquerer" (No. 20 with 25,000), Cold War Kids' "Loyalty to Loyalty" (No. 21 with 23,000), Jenny Lewis' "Acid Tongue" (No. 24 with 21,000) and David Gilmour's "Live in Gdansk" (No. 26 with 19,000).



The Billboard 200

Sales data provided and compiled from Nielsen SoundScan
1 1 METALLICA Death Magnetic (Warner Bros. ) 11 9 LIL WAYNE Tha Carter III (Cash Money / Universal Motown / UMRG)
*2 New DEMI LOVATO Don't Forget (Hollywood ) *12 New TV ON THE RADIO Dear Science (DGC / Interscope / IGA)
3 2 NE-YO Year Of The Gentleman (Def Jam / IDJMG) 13 5 DARIUS RUCKER Learn To Live (Capitol Nashville )
*4 New THE PUSSYCAT DOLLS Doll Domination (Interscope / IGA) 14 10 THE GAME LAX (Geffen / IGA)
*5 New KINGS OF LEON Only By the Night (RCA / RMG) 15 14 RIHANNA Good Girl Gone Bad (SRP / Def Jam / IDJMG)
*6 New JAZMINE SULLIVAN Fearless (J / RMG) 16 13 SOUNDTRACK Mamma Mia! (Decca )
7 4 KID ROCK Rock N Roll Jesus (Top Dog / Atlantic / AG) 17 12 SLIPKNOT All Hope Is Gone (Roadrunner )
*8 New JOE Joe Thomas, New Man (563 / Kedar) 18 15 SUGARLAND Love On The Inside (Mercury Nashville / UMGN)
9 6 YOUNG JEEZY The Recession (CTE / Def Jam / IDJMG) 19 3 NELLY Brass Knuckles (Derrty / Universal / UMRG)
10 11 JONAS BROTHERS A Little Bit Longer (Hollywood ) *20 New JACKSON BROWNE Time The Conqueror (Inside )
* indicates titles with greatest sales gains this week





MARKET WATCH

• Album units, current chart week: 6.46 million units
• DOWN 6.7% from last issue's charts: 6.92 million units
• DOWN 28.7% from same week, 2007: 9.06 million units
• This week: Only the No. 1 album sells more than 100,000 copies.
• This week last year on The Billboard 200: the entire top four of the chart were debuts, led by Rascal Flatts' "Still Feels Good" (547,000), Keyshia Cole's "Just Like You" (281,000), Foo Fighters' "Echoes, Silence, Patience and Grace" (168,000) and Jill Scott's "Real Thing: Words and Sounds Volume 3" (148,000). The top six albums each sold more than 100,000.



BORDERLINES

• The No. 1 album this week, Metallica's "Death Magnetic" (Warner Bros.), sold 132,000.
• The No. 1 album for the same week of 2007, Rascal Flatts' "Still Feels Good" (Lyric Street), sold 547,000.
• Average total of the No. 1 album for the same week of the year during the past 10 years (1999-2008): 319,770.


PROGRESS REPORTS

• Tim McGraw logs his 42nd top 10 single on Hot Country Songs as "Let It Go" hops 11-9. Having first reached the top 10 bracket with "Indian Outlaw" (No. 8) in 1994, McGraw pushes closer to the mark for the most top 10s in the '90s and '00s. (George Strait leads with 54 top 10s.) "Go" is also McGraw's 24th top 10 this decade, ranking him behind only Kenny Chesney (25) among all artists in that span. "Go," the fifth single and title cut from McGraw's 2007 studio album, will be included on his "Greatest Hits 3," due Oct. 7 . . . The Louisiana native first charted exactly 16 years ago this week, when "Welcome to the Club" debuted at No. 71 on the then-75-position chart.

• The Killers roar to their highest entrance on the Modern Rock chart, as "Human" storms in at No. 13. "Human" is the quartet's ninth chart hit, a sum that includes five top 10s and one No. 1: 2006's "When You Were Young" . . . Elsewhere on the Modern Rock chart, Theory of a Deadman notches its first top 10 hit as "Bad Girlfriend" rises from No. 11 to No. 10 in its 15th week on the list. It's the band's fourth charting single overall -- its first was "Make Up Your Mind" in 2003, which peaked at No. 38.

• On the Hot Dance Club Play chart, Natasha Bedingfield scores her fifth consecutive No. 1 as "Angel" climbs to the top this week. It follows the chart-toppers "Unwritten," "The One That Got Away," "Love Like This" and "Pocketful of Sunshine." Five straight No. 1s is a lot, but she's still far behind the leader in terms of consecutive No. 1s. Kristine W. charted an amazing nine No. 1s in a row between 1994 and 2005.


A LOOK AHEAD

• Among the titles released this week, due on next week's charts: T.I.'s "Paper Trail," Jennifer Hudson's "Jennifer Hudson," James Taylor's "Covers," Robin Thicke's "Something Else," Kellie Pickler's "Kellie Pickler" and Faith Hill's "Joy to the World."

• Next week's Billboard 200 competes with the same week in 2007 when: Bruce Springsteen bowed at No. 1 with "Magic," shifting 335,000. The previous week's chart-topper, Rascal Flatts' "Still Feels Good," slipped to No. 2, selling 168,000 (down 69% in its second week). Four more albums debuted in the top 10 at Nos. 3, 4, 5 and 9. The top five albums each sold more than 100,000.