Viewers continue to make 'House' call

A higher-profile timeslot this fall is paying off for CBS laffer “The Big Bang Theory,” which hit series highs on Monday.

Opposite competish that included a pair of not-so-hot drama premieres — NBC’s new “Trauma” and Fox’s second-year “Lie to Me” — “Big Bang” exploded. It built on its “Two and a Half Men” lead-in by its largest margin yet while ABC, NBC and Fox were all declining in the 9:30 half-hour.

Looking at the numbers, Fox led the broadcasters in adults 18-49 behind “House” (5.8/15 in 18-49, 14.71 million viewers overall), which dominated the 8 o’clock hour despite expected dropoff from its monster preem. Net fumbled away half of that number at 9 o’clock, though, with the preem of “Lie to Me” (2.9/7, 7.73m).

At CBS, “How I Met Your Mother” continues to look good leading off the night (3.6/10 in 18-49, 8.71m), but “Accidentally on Purpose” (3.1/8, 8.03m) again lost 2 shares of that lead-in while dipping a bit in rating vs. its premiere.

The net rallied at 9 p.m. with “Two and a Half Men” (4.8/12 in 18-49, 13.86m) and especially at 9:30 p.m. with “The Big Bang Theory” (5.3/13, 13.27m). Both were up vs. their season premieres, with “Bang” building by its biggest margin to date on “Men” (10% in 18-49) and growing by a big 20% week to week in adults 18-34.

Through two weeks, “Big Bang” is averaging a 4.9 rating in 18-49 — up 40% from its 3.5 rating last year, when it aired in the more lightly watched 8 o’clock half-hour.

Also for CBS, “CSI: Miami” was again the broadcast leader (4.1/11, 13.96m), falling a tad from its preem.

NBC’s “Trauma” opened with a 2.2/5 in 18-49 and 6.68 million viewers overall. It was a weak start, but the net doesn’t have a lot of heat on the night with fading “Heroes” in the leadoff slot (2.5/7, 5.72m). At 10 p.m., net’s “The Jay Leno Show” was down a tick week to week (1.7/4, 5.52m).

ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars” (3.7/9 in 18-49, 17.03m from 8 to 10:02 p.m.) continues down by double digits vs. last year, placing third for its time period in 18-49 but remaining the night’s No. 1 show in total viewers. “Castle” closed out the night for the net (2.2/6, 9.15m), down a tick from its second-season bow.

CW’s “One Tree Hill” (1.1/3, 2.51m) and “Gossip Girl” (1.2/3, 2.36m) both rose week to week.

ESPN’s “Monday Night Football” matchup between Dallas and Carolina likely challenged “House” as the night’s top draw in 18-49, but Nielsen delayed release of cable nationals until today.

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