'House', '24' Win Monday Night for Fox

Rash Report: But CBS Sitcoms Hold Their Own

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MINNEAPOLIS (AdAge.com) -- Ratings results from strategic counter-programming countered the media malaise network TV has been in lately, as Fox's first night of its new Monday lineup of dramas, "House" and "24," won the night, edging the near equally strong lineup of CBS sitcoms.

'24' Credit: Fox
Fox's first place 4.8/11 rating and share in the ad-centric adult 18-49 demographic was led by its hit "House," which matched its previous Tuesday night average of 5.4/13. "24" followed with a 4.1/9, which matched last Monday's average. While the drama is down 30% from 2007, its steady performance from last week's premiere has to steady some nerves at Fox, as it appears that the show has stabilized. (All based on Nielsen fast-affiliate ratings, as live plus same-day data is delayed a day due to the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday.)

CBS was second with a 4.1/10, but its hit sitcoms were actually above their original episodes' average rating. "The Big Bang Theory" (4.0/10), "How I Met Your Mother" (4.5/11) and "Two and a Half Men" (5.4/12) were up 5%, 7% and 4%, respectively. "Worst Week," however, had a down week, off 6% to a 3.0/7. "CSI: Miami" was down 10% to a 3.7/10.

Network TV's other major genre, reality TV, led ABC to a third place 3.2/8, as "The Bachelor" was up 9% to a 3.5/8. But lead-out "True Beauty" tumbled 10% to a 2.7/7.

Third place NBC (1.7/4) didn't do as well with reality, however, as "Superstars of Dance" (1.7/4) and "Momma's Boys" (1.8/5) are more indicative of how most reality shows don't show up past one or two seasons.

And the CW tried to reach young viewers with the old genre of primetime soap operas. It delivered a 1.1/3, with "Gossip Girl" (1.0/3) and "One Tree Hill" (1.2/3) off from their season averages a third and a quarter, respectively, as perhaps younger viewers counter-programmed the small screen with the even smaller screens of iPods or computers.

Tuesday: Immediate history with inaugural balls and history with a bit of a longer view on PBS's "Frontline," which features a personal and political biography of President Obama. Wednesday: The day after swearing on the bible, Fox offers another look at our times with the program premiere of "Lie to Me."

Record ratings for the inauguration, if the crowds on the National Mall are any indication.

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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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