Fast National ratings for Monday, Sept. 21, 2009.

Even though your DVR may already have been filling up over the previous two weeks, Monday night marked the official start of the Fall TV Season and two-hour premieres for "Dancing with the Stars" and "House" made the biggest splashes.

On the negative side, NBC got a soft two-hour premiere from "Heroes," contributing to a major ratings drop for the start of the second week of "The Jay Leno Show."

Among adults 18-49, FOX won the night with a 6.5 rating, well ahead of the 4.0 rating for CBS and ABC's 3.5 rating. NBC's 2.5 rating and The CW's 1.1 rating trailed in the key demographic.

Overall, the ratings say that ABC's 9.5/15 and FOX's 9/5/14 tied for first, but this is one of those cases in which the ratings aren't exactly truthful, since FOX averaged 1.65 million viewers, far ahead of the 14.8 million averaged by ABC. No matter how you look at things, CBS was a solid third with a 7.5/12. NBC's 3.7/6 and the 1.6/2 for The CW weren't really in the game.

ABC started the night in first with an 11.0/17 for the first hour of the "Dancing with the Stars" premiere. FOX's "House" was second with a 9.2/14 and won the hour with a 6.1 rating in the 18-49 demo. CBS' "How I Met Your Mother" and "Accidentally on Purpose" both averaged a 5.7/9. The start of NBC's "Heroes" premiere had a 3.9/6. The CW's "One Tree Hill" was in line with last week's premiere numbers.

The second hour of "Dancing with the Stars" was a near carbon copy of the first, ratings-wise. Thus, it won it hour. "House" was up to a 9.8/14 and a 6.8 demo rating in its second hour. CBS' "Two and a Half Men" (8.5/12) and "The Big Bang Theory" (7.8/11) were third overall and second in the key demo. Note that "The Big Bang Theory," in its new home, actually improved on its lead-in in the key demo. In its second hour, meanwhile, NBC's "Heroes" dropped to a 3.4/5. The CW's "Gossip Girl" was down in its second week, facing tougher competition.

In the 10 p.m. hour, CBS moved into first with an 8.7/14 for "CSI: Miami." ABC's "Castle" lost nearly half of its lead-in, but still did a 6.2/10 for second. The first week of NBC's "The Jay Leno Show" was third, with a 3.8/6, averaging 5.67 million viewers and a 1.8 demo rating, all series lows.

 

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