New CBS and NBC shows did well on the opening night of the season -- but it was ABC, powered by "Dancing with the Stars," that gave the network a big win for Monday night.
CBS did well with its 10 p.m. "Hawaii Five-0," with a Nielsen preliminary 3.8 rating/10 share among 18-49 viewers, and its 9:30 p.m. "Mike & Molly," which earned a 3.9/10. Both shows were a bit less than "CSI: Miami" and "The Big Bang Theory" premieres of a year ago.
That said, both CBS' returning comedies "Two and a Half Men" and "How I Met Your Mother" were up a bit versus last year's numbers -- at a 4.8/12 and a 3.6/10. "Rules of Engagement" with a 3.1/8 was virtually the same versus year-ago numbers of "Accidentally on Purpose."
CBS has typically owned Monday night. But with some radical moves, such as "CSI: Miami" and "Big Bang" shifting to other nights of the week, some of this was expected. CBS did much to hold off the damage, talking about some expected lift in live-plus-seven-day ratings. The live-plus-seven is increasingly gaining favor among TV analysts because of the still-growing penetration of DVRs in the home, now at 37% of the country.
ABC had stronger results with both "Stars," a two-hour version starting at 8 p.m., and its 10 p.m. drama "Castle." Both shows took on 20% more ratings this year. "Stars" -- which took top honors as the best-rated show -- earned a 5.0/12 among 18-49 viewers. "Castle" was at a 2.8/8.
NBC's heavily promoted series "The Event" was good, but not great -- with a 3.7/9, running in a key 9 p.m. time period. NBC's returning show "Chuck" posted a 2.1/6 -- expected against stiff competition. NBC's other new Monday night show -- "Chase" at 10 p.m. -- also did fairly well with a 2.5/7, considering the circumstances.
THe big-time loser was Fox with its new 9 p.m. drama "Lone Star." This heavily promoted drama got the benefit of one of the network's biggest shows "House" running behind it. But it could only muster a 1.3/3. "House" also lost some steam, earning a sub-par 4.1/10 -- down from the 6-plus ratings points of its premiere a year ago.
In the wake of all these major openings, the CW was able to eke out a bit of good news. "Gossip Girl" climbed 25% over the week before in its key women 18-34 demos to a strong 2.5/7 at 9 p.m. But "90210" could only muster a lackluster 1.8/5 in the same viewer group.
For the night among 18-49 viewers, ABC earned a 4.2/11; CBS scored a 3.8/10; NBC was at 2.8/7; Fox was at 2.7/7; Univision came in at 1.9/5; and CW earned a 1.0/3.