For its third Monday night of the new season, NBC tumbled into third place--down over 20% from the nightly rating of its season debut night two weeks ago.
NBC's key show, "Heroes," has fallen from a Nielsen live-plus-same-day 6.5 rating among 18-49 viewers during the first week to a 5.5 number, and to a 5.1 this past Monday night. "Chuck" has sunk from a 3.6 to a 3.2., and now to a 2.7. "Journeyman" has moved from a 3.5 to a 3.2, and then to a 2.9.
That said, most networks typically fall from their heavily marketed opening-night premieres. ABC is down 13%. CBS and Fox are off 7% each.
ABC won the night with a 4.1 rating/10 share, just ahead of CBS at a 4.0/10. NBC earned a 3.6/9, followed by Fox at a 2.5/6.
Some analysts are blaming DVR usage. Still others say it's still a waiting game--all the new ratings measurements haven't come in yet.
"You can't really make too much judgment of the first, second or third week. You still don't know what the C3 ratings are, or live-plus-seven-day program ratings," said Brad Adgate, senior vice president and corporate research director of Horizon Media.
Still, NBC's "Heroes" won the night as the top-rated program, with a 5.1/12. ABC's "Dancing with the Stars" was next at a 5.0/12. "Stars" was slightly down versus last week's 5.2/13 number. ABC's "The Bachelor" also dipped somewhat, down to a 3.2/8 from a 3.4/9.
Among other new shows, CBS's "Big Bang Theory" has seemingly found its level early on--actually up a bit to a 3.4/8 from a 3.3/8 the week before. Fox's "K-Ville" was also up slightly to a 2.0/5, from a 1.9/4.
CW's entire Monday night lineup came in with identical numbers versus the week before, ending the night with a 1.1/3. Its new show, "Aliens in America," took in a 0.8/2 for each of the last two weeks.
The network says the key 18-34 numbers for "Aliens" improved 25% over the week before, to a 1.0/3. For the night, the CW's top-rated 18-34 show was "The Game," at a 1.6/4.
MyNetworkTV earned a 0.3/0.6 for the night, coming from two shows "Celebrity Expose" and "Control Room Presents."