Super Sunday Becomes Super Monday for CBS

Rash Report: Series High for 'Big Bang Theory,' Season High for 'Two and a Half Men'

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MINNEAPOLIS (AdAge.com) -- Sure, Super Bowls -- let alone an NFL-rights contract -- are expensive. But the payoff has been immediate for CBS. The network used the Super Bowl Sunday night to debut the series premiere of "Undercover Boss," which was the highest-rated post-Bowl bow since the season premiere of "Survivor" nine years ago.

'Big Bang Theory'
'Big Bang Theory' Credit: CBS
And after incessant promos on Super Sunday, it was a super Monday night for the network, which hit a season-high 4.4/11 rating and share in the ad-centric adult 18-49 demographic, beating Fox (4.2/10), ABC (3.6/9), NBC (1.8/5) and the CW (1.0/2).

CBS's "Big Bang Theory" hit an all-time high 6.0/14, following a season-high 5.7/14 for "Two and a Half Men." At 10 p.m. "CSI: Miami" (3.9/11) didn't set any records, but did finish first in the time slot. And in prime time's first hour "How I Met Your Mother" (3.8/10) and "Accidentally on Purpose" (3.3/8) were a close third to ABC's "The Bachelor," which picked up a 4.1/10 for a two-hour episode.

The winner at 8 p.m. was "House" (5.1/13), which was just two tenths of a ratings point below its season-to-date original episode season average. And "House' lead-out "24" (3.3/8) was only a tenth of a point behind.

Of course, CBS isn't the only NFL rights-holder. NBC has the Sunday night package, which allowed the network to promote its Monday lineup. But whatever residual impact the highly rated "Sunday Night Football" had is long gone, as witnessed by the 2.2/6 for "Chuck" and the 2.0/5 for the season (series?) finale for "Heroes." And at 10 p.m. the penultimate "Jay Leno Show" limped to a 1.1/3, losing not only to "CSI: Miami" but to ABC's "Castle" as well.

As for the CW, it, of course, has no NFL contract. But as long as it runs original episodes it hasn't fumbled away its younger female fan base, and it did all right with adults 18-49 as well, as "One Tree Hill" (1.1/3) and "Life Unexpected" (0.9/2) were within a tenth of a ratings point either way of last week's ratings.

Rash gridsEnlarge
See how all the shows did in the ratings.

WHAT TO WATCH:
Tuesday: The airline industry better buckle up, as it's examined in the "Frontline" documentary "Flying Cheap," which looks at flying since the Continental crash in Buffalo.
Wednesday: Have kids? "A Charlie Brown Valentine" on ABC. No kids? No worries, like all Peanuts specials, it works for everyone.

WHAT TO WATCH FOR:
No nostalgia can be built up over such a short – and tumultuous – time, but will there be any bump for the series finale of NBC's "Jay Leno Show" tonight?

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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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