Fast National ratings for Monday, February 27, 2012.
 
Sunday's rainout of the Daytona 500 benefited FOX's Monday, as NASCAR action pushed the network into the primetime lead. 
 
While the racing may have taken a small bite out of NBC's "The Voice," the network got good news in the form of a slight bump for "Smash," which halted two weeks of steep declines and may have found its level.
 
The racing also may have caused a decline for CBS' comedies, but didn't hurt "The Bachelor," which was up a bit with young viewers.
 
[Remember that the peculiar timing for the Daytona 500 will lead to the usual ratings uncertainty that comes from live events, leading to some shifting numbers.]
 
Among adults 18-49, FOX averaged a 4.5 rating, nipping the 4.4 rating for NBC in the key demographic. CBS was a solid, but distant, third with a 3.1 rating. ABC's 2.4 rating and the 0.5 rating for The CW followed.
 
Overall, FOX averaged an estimated 14.24 million viewers for Monday primetime, along with an 8.2 rating/12 share. NBC's 7.3/11 and 12.13 million viewers followed, with CBS averaging 10.01 million viewers and a 6.3/10 to finish third. ABC's 5.6/9 and 8.34 million viewers finished fourth. Then there was a big drop to the 0.9/1 and 1.28 million viewers for The CW.
 
8 p.m. - A tight 8 p.m. battle went to FOX's Daytona 500 overall with 14.45 million viewers, while the race finished second with a 4.4 rating among adults 18-49. NBC's "The Voice" was a close second with 14.26 million viewers and won the hour with a 5.0 key demo rating. CBS was third with "How I Met Your Mother" (9.13 million viewers and a 3.6 key demo) and "2 Broke Girls" (10.14 million and a 3.7 key demo). ABC's "The Bachelor" averaged 7.97 million viewers and a 2.6 key demo rating in fourth. The CW's "Gossip Girl" averaged 1.165 million viewers and a 0.5 key demo rating, up a hair from last week.

9 p.m. - "The Voice" took over the overall lead in the 9 p.m. hour with 15.275 million viewers and stayed on top with a 5.8 rating among adults 18-49 for NBC. FOX's Daytona 500 coverage averaged 14.03 million viewers and a 4.5 key demo rating in second. CBS' "Two and a Half Men" (11.81 million and a 3.6 key demo) and "Mike & Molly" (10.1 million and a 2.9 key demo) were low. ABC's "The Bachelor" averaged 7.99 million viewers and a 2.6 key demo rating. The CW's "Hart of Dixie" slid a hair with 1.4 million viewers and a 0.5 key demo rating.
 
10 p.m. - With FOX out of its normal primetime window (even with the race ongoing and lowering ratings elsewhere), CBS moved into first for the 10 p.m. hour with "Hawaii Five-0" averaging 9.44 million viewers and a 2.5 key demo rating. ABC's "Castle" was second overall with 9.06 million viewers and third with a 2.2 key demo rating. Even with a significantly weaker lead-in, NBC's "Smash" rose to 6.86 million viewers and a 2.4 key demo rating, showing far better retention in its second half-hour than in previous weeks.
 
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 in the case of live events.