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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
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.