'Two and a Half Men' tops Monday demos

“Two and a Half Men” shows no signs of slowing down in its eighth season, topping Monday in key demos as CBS led the broadcast nets. ABC ruled in total viewers behind “Dancing With the Stars,” which topped 20 million.

According to preliminary nationals from Nielsen, CBS opened the night with another strong performance by “How I Met Your Mother” (3.5 rating/10 share in adults 18-49, 8.9 million viewers overall) before dropping some at 8:30 p.m. with “Rules of Engagement” (2.9/7 in 18-49, 8.0 million viewers overall). The Eye then narrowly moved to the young-adult lead among the broadcasters at 9 p.m. with “Two and a Half Men” (4.5/11 in 18-49, 14.1 million viewers overall) — up week to week and the night’s No. 1 entertainment series in 18-49 and 25-54 (5.9/13). Also up was 9:30 p.m. rookie “Mike and Molly” (3.8/9 in 18-49, 12.3 million viewers overall), which moved to the broadcast lead without “Dancing” competition from ABC this week, and “Hawaii Five-0″ closed out the night as the No. 1 broadcaster in 18-49 (2.8/8, 10.2 million viewers overall).

At ABC, a shortened 90-minute installment of “Dancing With the Stars” (4.0/10 in 18-49, 20.6 million viewers overall) led its broadcast competition in the 8-9:30 p.m. block in 18-49 and 25-54 while dominating in total viewers. Following a special repeat of “The Middle” at 9:30 p.m. (2.3/6 in 18-49, 10.1 million viewers overall), “Castle” placed second among the broadcasters at 10 p.m. (2.5/7 in 18-49, 10.0 million viewers overall).

Fox was up week to week with its drama duo of “House” (4.0/11 in 18-49, 10.8 million viewers overall) and “Lie to Me” (2.0/5 in 18-49, 6.0 million viewers overall), with the former leading all broadcasters among adults 18-49 in the 8 o’clock hour. Both shows hit season highs in total viewers.

NBC continues to struggle on the night with its lineup of “Chuck” (1.8/5 in 18-49, 5.5 million viewers overall), “The Event” (1.7/4 in 18-49, 5.7 million viewers overall) and “Chase” (1.2/3 in 18-49, 4.6 million viewers overall), while CW was about average with its own low-rated combo of “90210” (0.9/2 in 18-49, 1.8 million viewers overall) and “Gossip Girl” (0.9/2 in 18-49, 1.7 million viewers overall).

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: CBS, 3.4/9; ABC, 3.2/8; Fox, 3.0/8; Univision, 1.7/4; NBC, 1.6/4; CW, 0.9/2.

In total viewers: ABC, 15.3 million; CBS, 10.6 million; Fox, 8.4 million; NBC, 5.3 million; Univision, 4.0 million; CW, 1.7 million.

Follow @Variety on Twitter for breaking news, reviews and more