'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.

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."

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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