TV Ratings: 'Bachelor' premiere leads ABC Monday while 'Castle' slips
Also, 'Almost Human' is steady and 'Hostages' does 'Hostages' numbers
With the BCS Championship no doubt siphoning a large audience over to ESPN, ABC's counter-programming of the "Bachelor" premiere proved successful and drew Monday's biggest audiences in all key measures.
While "The Bachelor" may have dominated the night and improved 17 percent over last January's premiere, it proved a less-than-"Dancing" lead-in for "Castle," which had some of its lowest numbers of the season despite the lack of a new "Blacklist" as competition.
There was still enough available audience for "Almost Human" to do solid numbers for FOX, while the two-hour "Hostages" finale did roughly the same low-but-consistent numbers "Hostages" did all fall.
On to the ratings...
Among adults 18-49, ABC averaged a 2.4 rating for Monday night, easily tops in the key demographic. FOX was a distant second with a 1.3 key demo rating, followed by CBS' 1.2 key demo rating and the 1.0 key demo rating for NBC. The CW averaged a 0.2 rating in the key demo for the night.
Overall, ABC averaged an estimated 8.58 million viewers and a 5.6 rating/8 share for Monday primetime, comfortably beating the 5.23 million viewers and 3.5/5 for CBS. FOX was third with 4.475 million viewers and a 2.7/4, compared to the 2.8/4 and 4.19 million viewers for NBC. The CW averaged 631,000 viewers and a 0.4/1 for the night.
8 p.m. - The first hour of "The Bachelor" premiere averaged 8.45 million viewers and a 2.6 rating among adults 18-49 for ABC in the 8 p.m. frame. FOX was second with 6.2 million viewers and a 1.7 key demo rating for "Almost Human," which continues to do decent numbers as a self-starter. CBS' repeats of "2 Broke Girls" and "Mom" averaged 6.005 million viewers and a 1.5 key demo rating for a close third. On NBC, the first of three repeats of "The Blacklist" averaged 4.5 million viewers and a 0.9 key demo rating. The CW's "Hart of Dixie" repeat averaged 740,000 viewers and a 0.2 key demo rating.
9 p.m. - "The Bachelor" rose slightly to 8.51 million viewers and a 2.8 rating among adults 18-49 for ABC in the 9 p.m. hour. The first hour of CBS' "Hostages" finale averaged 5.02 million viewers and a 1.1 key demo rating for second. NBC's "Blacklist" repeat was third with 3.875 million viewers and a 0.9 key demo rating, ahead of the 2.75 million viewers and 0.8 key demo rating for a "Sleepy Hollow" repeat on FOX. The CW's "Beauty and the Beast" repeat averaged 522,000 viewers and a 0.1 key demo rating.
10 p.m. - ABC closed its primetime sweep with 8.785 million viewers and a 1.8 rating among adults 18-49 for "Castle," which was below its season average in all measures. CBS' "Hostages" finished its season with 4.66 million viewers and a 1.0 key demo rating, compared to the 4.19 million viewers and 1.1 key demo rating for NBC's "Blacklist" repeat.
All ratings information comes from preliminary Fast National Nielsen data, which includes live and same-day DVR viewing. All numbers are subject to change.