The big buildup for CBS' "Two and a Half Men" didn't disappoint for viewers and advertisers, with its soaring numbers.
"Men" earned a monstrous Nielsen preliminary 10.3 rating/24 share among 18-49 viewers, advertisers' favorite demo. Not only did the show more than double its premiere numbers from a year ago -- it took in the best ratings for any scripted show for all of last season.
New performer to the show Ashton Kutcher benefited from a mountain of publicity and marketing -- all due to Charlie Sheen's high-profile departure. The show pulled in 27.7 million overall viewers, and grabbed 8.2 adult 18-34 ratings as well. Those numbers have, in general, only been bested by Fox's "American Idol."
All this created big-time draft for CBS' new comedy "2 Broke Girls" at 9:30 p.m., which rocketed to a 7.0/16. Earlier in the evening, "How I Met Your Mother" scored a big 4.9/13, its best season-opener ever.
CBS did well later in the evening at 10 p.m. "Hawaii Five-0" took over the spotlight -- but to a lesser degree than other CBS shows earlier in the evening, with a 3.4/9. It eked out a win over ABC's "Castle," which scored a 3.3/8. "Five-0" numbers were strong by comparison to its end-of-the-season original show.
Many other new and returning shows suffered as a result of the attention to CBS. ABC's "Dancing with the Stars," between 8 p.m. and 10 p.m., had an underwhelming 3.9/9 -- well off its 5.0+ rating season premiere of last year. Still, it grabbed a healthy bunch of overall viewers, with some 19 million.
Running against such tough competition in the same early two-hour prime-time period, NBC's "The Sing-Off" posted a 1.9/5 among 18-49 viewers. At 10 p.m., "The Playboy Club" took a 1.7/4 -- about half the numbers of what "Five-0" and "Castle" posted in the same demo.
Fox went with a "Hell's Kitchen" season finale and -- despite the competition -- reached a respectable 2.6/6. The CW sat on the bench for the night, running repeats.
CBS was the easy winner among 18-49 viewers for the night with a 5.7.14. ABC came next, at a 3.7/9, followed by Fox in third with 2.5/6; NBC at a 1.8/4; Univision with a 1.7/4; Telemundo at a 0.5/1; and CW with a 0.4/1.