Alphabet wins Monday night for fifth time

ABC romanced a primetime victory Monday thanks to “The Bachelorette,” which led in viewers 18-49 and overall throughout its two-hour airing.

This was the fifth straight Monday victory in the demo for ABC, its longest streak on the night in more than three years.

NBC finished behind ABC and CBS on Monday but enjoyed growth in the viewership for the two-hour “Last Comic Standing,” which steadily gained in each halfhour from 9-11 p.m.

Though it bled audience from the previous week, thanks at least in part to the holiday weekend, “Bachelorette” (2.7 rating/8 share in 18-49, 9.1 million viewers overall) started relatively strong and finished stronger, peaking at 3.2/9, 10.1 million from 9:30 to 10 p.m.

ABC then finished second at 10 p.m. with “True Beauty” (1.7/5, 5.1 million), even though that unscripted series lost viewers in its second halfhour. “True Beauty” was tops in the hour among women 18-49.

“Last Comic Standing” (1.8/5, 4.4 million) peaked at 10:30 p.m. with 2.1/6, 4.9 million, 50% better in the demo than its rating/share of 1.4/4 in the first halfhour.

CBS finished in second place for the night largely on the strength of sitcom reruns. Best was “The Big Bang Theory” (2.4/7, 8.4 million) at 9:30 p.m., which added viewers to the 9 p.m. audience of “Two and a Half Men” (2.2/6, 8.3 million) despite the simultaneous growth for “Bachelorette.”

At 8 p.m., CBS offered “How I Met Your Mother” (1.5/5, 4.8 million) and “Rules of Engagement” (1.8/6, 5.7 million). Those programs performed better in 18-49 than 10 p.m. entry “CSI: Miami” (1.5/4, 7.2 million) but had a smaller overall audience.

NBC struggled at 8 p.m. with “Persons Unknown” (0.8/3, 3.0 million), which finished in fourth place with the poorest 18-49 numbers of its brief history, behind a rerun of Fox’s “Lie to Me” (1.0/3, 3.2 million) but ahead of the CW’s repeat “90210″ (0.3/1, 1.0 million).

The CW’s rebroadcast of “Gossip Girl” (0.2/0, 0.4 million) at 9 p.m. barely registered, finishing behind Fox’s “The Good Guys” (0.8/2, 2.7 million).

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: ABC 2.4/7, CBS 1.8/5, Univision 1.6/5, NBC 1.5/4, Fox 0.9/3, CW 0.2/1.

In total viewers: ABC 7.8 million, CBS 6.9 million, NBC 3.9 million, Univision 3.7 million Fox 3.1 million, CW 0.6 million.

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