MINNEAPOLIS (AdAge.com) -- After data delays due to difficulties in processing ratings, Thursday's release of Monday's data indicates that Nielsen is catching up. So too, it seems, were the networks in close competition to lead Monday's ratings race, as ABC, CBS and Fox generally had shows hold their season-to-date original-episode ratings better than most May sweeps days that have seen significant under-delivery.
ABC, which won the night's ratings race in the ad-centric adult 18-49 demographic with an overall 4.2/11 rating and share, held all but a tenth of a ratings point for a two-hour "Dancing with the Stars" (4.9/13) and actually over-delivered the average for "Dancing's" lead-out "Castle" by 17%(2.8/7).
CBS and Fox, which tied with a 4.0 rating (although CBS had an 11 share to Fox's 10), were more mixed, however. CBS, for example, lost 11% and 12%, respectively, of regular viewers for first-hour sitcoms "The Big Bang Theory" (3.4/10) and "How I Met Your Mother" (3.6/9). But "Two and a Half Men" (5.0/12) was just a tenth off and "Rules of Engagement" (4.1/10) was 8% higher. And at 10 p.m. "CSI: Miami" locked up its 4.0/11 average.
Fox's "House," however, was down 10% to a 4.6/13, while "24" (3.4/8) edged 8% downward.
NBC finished fourth with a 1.9/5, as "Medium" (2.2/6) ran a two-hour episode that was down 12% from its average. But it was 83% higher-rated than its lead-in, "Deal or No Deal," which filled "Chuck's" timeslot and only delivered a 1.2/3.
And on the CW, there was ratings stability, as both "Gossip Girl" and "One Tree Hill" scored a 1.1/3, but with the network's relatively younger audience coming down with a case of spring fever during May sweeps, that rating was 21% and 27% lower, respectively.
WHAT TO WATCH:
Thursday: Based on its cultural and commercial impact, tonight's 100th episode of ABC's "Grey's Anatomy" has a good chance of an eventual 200th episode.
Friday: If Friday isn't enough to bring a smile to your face, Oscar-winner "Happy Feet" will. (ABC, 8 p.m.)
WHAT TO WATCH FOR:
Data delay double-header! Tomorrow's Rash Report will recap Tuesday's and Wednesday's ratings, as Nielsen sequentially releases ratings results from this week.
NOTE: All ratings based on adults 18-49. A share is a percentage of adults 18-49 who have their TV sets on at a given time. A rating is a percentage of all adults 18-49, whether or not their sets are turned on. For example, a 1.0 rating is 1% of the total U.S. adults 18-49 population with TVs. Ratings quoted in this column are based on live-plus-same-day unless otherwise noted. (Many ad deals have been negotiated on the basis of commercial-minute, live-plus-three-days viewing.)
John Rash is senior VP-director of media analysis for Campbell Mithun, Minneapolis. For more, see rashreport.com.