'Dancing' Struts, 'Men' Stays Steady


Even with controversy surrounding its selection in the finals of its big celebrity talent dancing show, ABC couldn't make it a really big night. CBS just won Monday, with a Nielsen preliminary 3.5/10 versus ABC's 3.4/9.

All this happened despite rising numbers for ABC's "Dancing with the Stars" -- which moved up 18% in the ratings to a 4.7/13 from a week ago -- its final performance episode, scoring 15% higher numbers versus the same show in its previous edition last season. Analysts attribute some of the rise to the surprise final contender: Bristol Palin.

How did CBS do it? It put up major resistance. "Two and a Half Men" earned a steady 4.5/11 at 9 p.m., flat with the week before. But it shifted into high gear when "Dancing" went off the air around 9:12 p.m. and new ABC reality-celebrity-talent show "Skating with the Stars" came on.



First CBS' "Mike & Molly" gained 8% at 9:30 p.m., rising to a 4.0/10 -- against "Skating" with a 2.7/7. It then handed off to 10 p.m. drama "Hawaii Five-0," which improved 14% to a 3.2/9. "Skating" only earned a 1.9/5 for this hour.

Although final numbers are not in for the hour-and-a-half after "Dancing" -- 9:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. -- "Skating" earned a 2.2 rating/6 share.

Earlier in the evening, "Dancing" had its way with the competition. CBS' "How I Met Your Mother" dropped some to a 3.5/10; NBC's "Chuck" sank to a series-low 1.7/5; Fox's "House" lost a big 15% to a 3.4/9. At 8:30 p.m., "Rules of Engagement" was flat, tying the season low 2.9/8.

After CBS and ABC, Fox came in at a 2.6/7; Univision and NBC were tied with a 1.6/4; and CW (in "90201" and "Gossip Girl" repeats) was at a 0.3/1.

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