Viewers enthusiastically welcomed NBC's "The Sing Off" back to the fold, giving the network some of its best Monday numbers in months, continuing the process of crashing ABC's "Skating with the Stars."
Still, it was CBS comfortably winning the night in key measures with new episodes of its full Monday lineup.
In other ratings news, country music fans assured FOX that actually there are quite enough country music award shows already and the world doesn't currently need the American Country Awards.
Among adults 18-49, CBS averaged a 3.3 rating, topping NBC's 2.4 rating in the coveted demographic. FOX and ABC tied for a distant third with a 1.5 rating. That left The CW in fifth with a 1.0 rating.
Overall, CBS averaged an estimated 10.54 million viewers and a 6.5 rating/10 share. NBC was second with a 4.6/7 and 7.38 million viewers. ABC's 3.9/6 and 6.01 million viewers edged out FOX's 3.6/5 and 5.97 million viewers. The CW trailed with a 1.4/2 and 2.11 million viewers. [Note that it was The CW's most watched Monday of the season, with both "90210" and "Gossip Girl" drawing season highs.]
8 p.m. -- CBS started primetime out in first with "How I Met Your Mother" (9.405 million viewers and a 3.6 demo) and "Rules of Engagement" (8.83 million viewers and a 3.1 demo rating). The first hour of NBC's "The Sing Off" was a strong second with 8.78 million viewers and a 2.7 demo rating. The first hour of the America Country Awards gave FOX 6.11 million viewers and a 1.6 demo rating. ABC's "Skating with the Stars" was fourth with 4.93 million viewers and the competition drew only a 1.0 rating in the key demographic, tying with The CW's "90210," which drew 2.27 million viewers. Let's repeat that, because losing to or equalling "America's Next Top Model" or "Smallville" or "The Vampire Diaries" is one thing: "Skating with the Stars" delivered the same 18-49 rating as "90210."
9 p.m. -- "Two and a Half Men" (13.325 million and a 4.1 demo rating) and "Mike & Molly" (11.085 million viewers and a 3.4 demo) controlled the 9 p.m. hour for CBS. Overall, "The Sing Off" slipped slightly to 8.305 million, but it rose to a 2.8 rating in the key demo for NBC. FOX's American Country Awards remained third with 5.84 million viewers and a 1.5 demo. ABC's "Skating with the Stars" and a repeat of "Modern Family" were fourth with 4.49 million viewers and a 1.2 demo rating. The CW's "Gossip Girl" was fifth with 2.08 million viewers and a 1.1 demo rating (actually beating "Skating with the Stars" in the first half-hour).
10 p.m. -- "Hawaii Five-0" completed CBS' primetime sweep with 10.3 million viewers and a 2.7 demo rating in the 10 p.m. hour. ABC's "Castle" averaged 8.61 million viewers and a 2.2 rating for second. Finally blessed with a good lead-in, NBC's "Chase" actually slipped slightly from last week to 5.06 million viewers and a 1.5 demo.
All ratings information comes from preliminary Fast National Nielsen data, which includes live and same-day DVR viewing. All numbers are subject to change.
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.