Fast National ratings for Monday, Aug. 31, 2009.

Three hours of the special "CMA Musical Festival: Country's Night to Rock" helped ABC control the ratings race for final night of August.

Among adults 18-49, ABC averaged a 2.1 rating on Monday night, nipping the 2.0 rating for CBS. NBC and FOX tied for third with a 1.4 rating in the key demographic, leaving The CW in last with a 0.5 rating. 

Overall, ABC averaged an estimated 7.84 million viewers to go with a 5.0 rating/8 share. CBS was a close second with a 4.6/8, followed by NBC's 3.8/6. FOX's 2.7/4 and the 1.0/2 for The CW trailed.

ABC started the night in first with the first hour of the CMA Music Festival programming, which did a 5.0/8 in the 8 p.m. hour. NBC's "Law & Order: Criminal Intent" was second with a 3.3/5, just ahead of CBS' pair of "How I Met Your Mother" repeats. FOX's "House" had a 2.8/4 for fourth, beating the 0.9/1 for The CW's "One Tree Hill."

CBS moved into first at 9 p.m. with a 5.4/8 for "Two and a Half Men" and "The Big Bang Theory." The latter comedy again improved on its lead-in with a 2.6 rating in the 18-49 demo, best of the night. The CMA Music Festival was second for ABC with a 5.2/8 and actually edged CBS in viewers for the hour. NBC's "Law & Order: Criminal Intent" was third with a 3.8/6, with FOX's "Lie to Me" taking fourth with a 2.5/4. The CW's "Gossip Girl" was down slightly from its lead-in.

"CSI: Miami" had a 5.1/9 to help CBS win the 10 p.m. hour. ABC's CMA Festival was a close second overall and won the hour in the 18-49 demo. NBC's "Dateline" was a close third with a 4.3/7.

 

All ratings information comes from preliminary Fast National Nielsen data, which includes live and same-day DVR viewing. All numbers are subject to change.