'Dancing With the Stars' Tops Monday, but Ratings Slip

Rash Report: ABC Dance Contest Off 18% From Premiere

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MINNEAPOLIS (AdAge.com) -- Reruns made wallflowers out of Fox's "House" and CBS's "Two and a Half Men," so ABC's "Dancing With the Stars" waltzed with an easy victory in Monday's ratings race, delivering a 5.0/13 rating and share in the ad-centric 18-to-49 demographic to end as the night's highest rated show.

'Dancing With the Stars'
'Dancing With the Stars' Credit: ABC
But despite the dance floor being cleared by the rivals' repeats, "Dancing" itself stumbled 6% from last week and is down 18% from its premiere two weeks ago. Lead-out "Castle" also continued its decline, down 14% from last week and 17% from its premiere to a 2.5/7. Still, ABC easily won with an overall 4.2/11.

CBS (3.4/9) managed second place despite the "Two and a Half Men" rerun (3.6/9) losing 29% of the adults it normally draws for an original episode. That hurt lead-out "Rules of Engagement," which fell 15% from last week to a 3.4/8. The network also scrambled the schedule in the 8 p.m. hour, first by moving the original episode of "How I Met Your Mother" into "The Big Bang Theory's" time period at 8 p.m., delivering a 2.9/8, which was off 31% from its normal delivery. Then it ran a rerun of "How I Met Your Mother" in its usual 8:30 p.m. time slot and suffered a predictable drop-off of 38% as it delivered a 2.6/7. But despite the sitcoms slipping, cop drama "CSI: Miami" (4.0/11) came to the rescue by holding its average and winning its time slot.

"House" (2.6/7) halved its original-episode average, which may have affected lead-out "24" (3.4/8), which was 11% below its normal levels. Overall, however, Fox was still third with a 3.0/8.

With all original episodes, it would have been a great night for NBC's and CW's dramas to cut into "Dancing" and the reruns on Fox and CBS. But NBC's "Chuck" (2.2/6) was down 12%, while "Heroes" (2.9/7) and "Medium" (2.2/6) tumbled 26% and 19%, respectively, to original-episode season lows, resulting in NBC finishing fourth with a 2.5/6.

And even on fifth-place CW (1.1/3) -- whose target contains some who probably think they are too cool for prom, let alone "Dancing With the Stars" -- regular ratings dropped, as "Gossip Girl" (1.1/3) and "One Tree Hill" (1.2/3) were off 27% and 20%, respectively, from their original-episode averages.

WHAT TO WATCH:
Tuesday: After a ratings rise for last week's "Tonight Show" on NBC and last night's "60 Minutes," this Obama guy may get his own show. He's back again with a presidential press conference at 8 p.m. on numerous networks. Afterward, PBS puts it all in perspective with "Frontline's" examination of the exploding national debt in "Ten Trillion and Counting."
Wednesday: If you're a reality TV fan, circle Wednesday at 8 p.m. on your calendar: Because of CBS's coverage of the NCAA basketball tournament coverage on Thursday, "Survivor" moves to Wednesday and enters a game of survival all its own up against Fox's "American Idol," the CW's "America's Next Top Model" and NBC's "Chopping Block."

WHAT TO WATCH FOR:
CBS to take advantage of "Idol" being idle due to the press conference and have higher ratings with "NCIS" and "The Mentalist."

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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.

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