ABC aired a confusing Monday lineup in the hopes of giving "Skating with the Stars" as big a premiere sampling as possible. However, while "Dancing with the Stars" hit new season highs for the first half of its finale, "Skating" slipped and helped CBS' end-of-evening offerings rise, leading to a Monday split.
Among adults 18-49, CBS won the night with a 3.5 rating, nipping the 3.4 rating for ABC. FOX was third with a 2.6 rating, still ahead of the 1.6 rating for NBC in the coveted demographic. The CW's repeats were a distant fifth with a 0.3 rating.
Overall, though, ABC still averaged 15.13 million viewers and a 9.5 rating/15 share, winning the night easily. CBS was second with a 7.0/11 and 11.43 million viewers. From there there was a big drop to FOX's 4.5/7 and 7.48 million viewers and then to the 3.2/5 and 5.1 million viewers for NBC. The CW was fifth with a 0.6/1 and 861,000 viewers on average.
8 p.m. -- "Dancing with the Stars" dominated the first primetime hour with 23.28 million viewers and a 4.7 demo rating, crushing everything in its path. FOX's "House" plummeted to 9.24 million viewers and a 3.4 demo rating. Credit CBS, as "How I Met Your Mother" and "Rules of Engagement" averaged 8.56 million viewers, both actually up from last week, and a 3.2 demo rating. NBC's "Chuck" was noticeably down against the "Dancing" onslaught, dipping to 4.8 million viewers and a 1.7 demo rating. The CW's repeat of "90210" was fifth with 885,000 viewers.
9 p.m. -- ABC won the 9 p.m. hour, which was 13 minutes of "Dancing with the Stars" and 47 minutes of the premiere of "Skating with the Stars." The two combined for 15.21 million viewers and a 3.5 demo rating, but that was 19.45 million for the first half-hour and 10.97 million for the second half-hour, already a significant turn-off. CBS' "Two and a Half Men" (14.31 million viewers, 4.5 demo) and "Mike & Molly" (12.99 million and a 4.0 demo), were the beneficiaries, with both shows rising. FOX's "Lie to Me" was third with 5.724 million viewers and a 1.8 demo rating. NBC's "The Event" was steady from last week with a 1.7 demo rating and down only slightly in viewers with 5.18 million. The CW's "Gossip Girl" repeat was fifth.
10 p.m. -- Facing decreased competition, CBS' "Hawaii Five-0" went up by nearly 2 million viewers to 12.09 million and went up to a 3.2 demo rating. ABC's "Skating with the Stars" slipped to 6.91 million viewers and a 1.9 demo rating (including 6 million and a 1.7 in its last half-hour). "Skating" even benefited NBC, as "Chase" went up to 5.33 million viewers and a 1.4 demo rating.
All ratings information comes from preliminary Fast National Nielsen data, which includes live and same-day DVR viewing. All numbers are subject to change, particularly when ABC plays silly scheduling tricks like this one.
A long-time member of the TCA Board and a longer-time blogger of "American Idol," Dan Fienberg writes about TV, except for when he writes about movies or sometimes writes about the Red Sox. But never music. He would sound stupid talking about music.