TV Ratings: Howard Stern's 'Talent' debut can't lift NBC past ABC, CBS on Monday
'Dancing' leads ABC overall, 'How I Met Your Mother' helps CBS in the demo
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NBC was so excited about Howard Stern's debut as judge on "America's Got Talent" that the network moved the start of the summer favorite into May sweeps. The result was a premiere that came in well below last year's numbers, but still performed well against stronger-than-summer competition.
Howard Stern aside, ABC still won Monday overall thanks to "Dancing with the Stars," while CBS captured the night among young viewers with the "How I Met Your Mother" finale and a strong "Hawaii Five-0" finale.
Among adults 18-49, CBS averaged a 3.3 rating, holding off NBC's 3.0 rating and the 2.5 rating for ABC in the key demographic. FOX was fourth with a 2.0 rating, while The CW's Monday finales averaged a 0.6 key demo rating.
Overall, though, ABC averaged an estimated 11.9 million viewers and a 7.7 rating/12 share, beating CBS' 6.4/10 and 10.42 million viewers. NBC's 5.3/8 and 8.89 million viewers finished a solid third, beating FOX's 4.2/6 and 6.76 million viewers. The CW averaged 0.9/1 and 1.35 million viewers for Monday.
8 p.m. - "Dancing with the Stars" led the way overall in the 8 p.m. hour for ABC with 14.75 million viewers, coming in third with a 2.4 rating among adults 18-49. NBC's "America's Got Talent" averaged 9.96 million and a 3.5 key demo rating to start the Howard Stern Era. CBS' "How I Met Your Mother" finale was third with 8.49 million viewers and won the hour with a 3.6 key demo rating. FOX's "Bones" averaged 7.07 million viewers and a 1.9 key demo rating in fourth. The CW's "Gossip Girl" got a solid finale bump to a 0.6 key demo rating and 1.17 million viewers.
9 p.m. - ABC stayed in first overall for the 9 p.m. hour with "Dancing with the Stars" (17.15 million and a 2.9 key demo) and the start of the premiere of "The Bachelorette" (9.33 million viewers and a 2.6 key rating). CBS was second overall and second in the key demo with "Two and a Half Men" (11.33 million viewers and a 3.8 key demo) and "Mike & Molly" (11.63 million and a 3.3 key demo rating). [Yes, it appears that "Mike & Molly" out-drew its lead-in for the first time.] NBC's "America's Got Talent" won the hour with a 3.8 rating among adults 18-49 and finished third with 10.66 million viewers. The penultimate episode of "House" averaged 6.45 million viewers and a 2.2 key demo rating, both up slightly. The CW's "Hart of Dixie" finale averaged 1.53 million viewers and a 0.6 key demo rating.
10 p.m. - "Hawaii Five-0" closed strong with 11.29 million viewers and a 2.7 rating among adults 18-49. ABC's "The Bachelorette" slipped to 7.71 million viewers, but held fairly steady with a 2.5 key demo rating. NBC's "Smash" ended its first season with 6.06 million viewers and a 1.8 key 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.