MINNEAPOLIS (AdAge.com) -- With two and a half hours of reruns making CBS a Monday night wallflower, ABC -- led by "Dancing with the Stars" -- waltzed with a win in the ratings race, delivering an overall 3.5/9 rating and share in the ad-centric adult 18-49 demographic, ahead of CBS (3.0/8), Fox (2.9/7), NBC (2.7/7) and the CW (1.2/3).
"Dancing" (4.7/12) was the night's highest-rated program, indexing at 92% of its season average. But then ABC turned into a pumpkin, as "Surviving Suburbia" (2.4/6) slipped 14% and in the process halved its "Dancing" lead-in. "Surviving Suburbia's" lead-out, "Castle" (2.1/6), was 12% lower than "Suburbia," although it did improve 11% from last week.
"Castle's" week-to-week strength may have been because the usual time period winner, CBS's "CSI: Miami" was swapped for a rerun of "The Mentalist" (2.4/6), which fell 40% from "CSI: Miami's" original season average. In the process it was upset by NBC's "Medium" (2.5/7), which was just a tenth of a ratings point below its average. But "The Mentalist" wasn't the only CBS series that could report missing viewers, as repeats of "The Big Bang Theory" (2.9/8), "How I Met Your Mother" (2.7/7) and "Two and a Half Men" (3.9/10) lost between a quarter and a third of their original episode averages. Viewers did detect the one fresh episode on CBS's schedule, however, and rewarded "Rules of Engagement" with a time slot winning 3.8/9, which matched its season to date average.
Even though CBS ran almost all reruns, Fox and NBC -- which had all original episodes -- finished third and fourth, respectively. Like "Medium," "Chuck" (2.4/7), hit its season to date average. But "Heroes" (3.1/7) continued its season-long slide, with last night's episode off 16%.
On Fox, "Bones" (2.5/7) was third at 8 p.m., but only reached 56% as many in the demo as last week's "House." Lead-out "24" (3.2/8) probably missed the medical hit, as it slid 14% from its average.
And on the CW, whose relatively younger, female-focused audience is probably more interested in prom than "Dancing with the Stars," "Gossip Girl" (1.3/3) and "One Tree Hill" (1.2/3) were off 13% and 20%, respectively.
WHAT TO WATCH:
Tuesday: PBS's "Poisoned Waters," a "Frontline" examination of the cleanliness and safety of America's waterways, may make you need a drink. But it's the type of essential reporting that makes PBS the leader in broadcast journalism.
Wednesday: If you're into America's favorite genre, "America's Next Top Model" on the CW and "American Idol" on Fox make it a good night.
WHAT TO WATCH FOR:
A ratings rise for Fox's "Fringe," which not only has an "Idol" lead-in but also doesn't have to compete with the timeslot's other freshman phenom, CBS's hit "The Mentalist," which shifts an hour later and runs a repeat.
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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.