Fast National ratings for Monday, September 19, 2011.
 
Ashton Kutcher's first night on "Two and a Half Men" drew series-high ratings for CBS. And a rising Kutcher lifts all ships, as "How I Met Your Mother" was significantly up over last season's premiere, the new comedy "2 Broke Girls" had a tremendous launch and "Hawaii Five-0" won its hour with young viewers.
 
The result was a tremendous kick-off to the new season for CBS. The results weren't quite mixed for ABC. Building on last season's shocking finale, "Castle" was way up from last fall, but "Dancing with the Stars" took a big dip over recent premieres. But at least ABC still won Monday overall, which was more than could be said for NBC, which saw a lackluster fall debut for "The Sing-Off" and a less-than-sexy premiere for "The Playboy Club."
 
Among adults 18-49, CBS averaged a 5.7 rating, easily beating ABC's 3.7 rating in the key demographic. FOX averaged a 2.5 rating, beating NBC's 1.8 rating. The CW trailed with a 0.4 rating.
 
Overall, though, ABC averaged an estimated 16.91 million viewers and a 10.9 rating/16 share, comfortably ahead of the 9.5/14 and 15.73 million viewers for CBS. There was a big drop to FOX's 3.4/5 and 5.87 million viewers and to NBC's 3.2/5 and 5.13 million viewers. The CW averaged 1.1 million viewers.
 
[Univision averaged 3.81 million viewers and a 1.6 rating among adults 18-49 for the night.]
 
8 p.m. - "Dancing with the Stars" started primetime in first overall with 18.41 million viewers for ABC, also averaging a 3.9 rating among adults 18-49 for second in the 8 p.m. hour. CBS' two episodes of "How I Met Your Mother" averaged 11.75 million viewers for second overall, but won the hour with a 4.9 key demo rating (compared to 8.8 million and a 3.6 demo rating for last fall's premiere). FOX's "Hell's Kitchen" finale averaged 5.85 million viewers for its first hour along with a 2.5 key demo rating, beating the disappointing 5.66 million viewers and 1.9 key demo rating for "The Sing Off." The CW's repeat of last week's "H8r" premiere averaged nearly 1.2 million viewers (or very close to what the series did in its actual premiere).
 
9 p.m. - Ashton Kutcher and CBS exploded in the 9 p.m. hour. "Two and a Half Men" averaged 27.76 million viewers and a 10.3 key demo rating in its return (just a wee bit higher than last year's 14.5 million and sub-5 key demo rating) and "2 Broke Girls" held onto 19.15 million and a 7.0 key demo rating. ABC's "Dancing with the Stars" was second with 18.72 million viewers and a 3.9 demo rating. Again, there was a big drop to "Hell's Kitchen" with 5.88 million viewers and a 2.6 key demo rating. The second hour of "The Sing Off" took a discouraging drop to 4.74 million viewers and a 1.8 demo rating for NBC. On The CW, the netlet's second repeat of the "Ringer" premiere averaged 1.01 million viewers.
 
10 p.m. - "Castle" averaged 13.6 million viewers, its second largest audience ever and a 27 percent boost over last year's premiere, while coming in second in the key demo with a 3.3 rating for ABC. CBS' "Hawaii Five-0" averaged just under 12 million viewers and narrowly won the hour in the 18-49 demo. NBC's "The Playboy Club" admitted few viewers with 5.005 million viewers and a 1.6 key demo rating (including a drop at the half-hour). Want more bad news for NBC? Even the premiere of "Chase" last year averaged 7.9 million viewers (with a far better lead-in from the now-defunct "The Event").
 
All ratings information comes from preliminary Fast National Nielsen data, which includes live and same-day DVR viewing. All numbers are subject to change.