‘Dancing’ Away From ‘Romantically Challenged’

ABC issued a press release saying that “Romantically Challenged” had a “strong” opening, which sounded like more than a little NBC-worthy hyperbole.

Dancing2So I got my hands on the quarter-hour ratings that Nielsen provides to see just how “strong” the Alyssa Milano sitcom was, coming out of a “Dancing With the Stars” episode that ran until 9:32 p.m.

First, the overall numbers: 21.07 million viewers for an average minute of “Dancing,” with a 4.8 rating among adults age 18-49; and 10.67 million with a 2.9 for “Challenged.” Not great, but hey, at least it held on to more than half of its lead-in, right?

The quarter-hours, however, are even less encouraging for the comedy: 22.5 million viewers and a 5.3 rating in the key demo for “DWTS” in its final 15 minutes; meanwhile, “Challenged” started at 11.9 million and a 3.1, then slipped to 9.6 million (rounding upward) and a 2.7 in the second quarter-hour. And that’s actually better than I expected.

In other words, from the last few steps of “Dancing” to the second half of “Challenged,” almost 13 million viewers had scattered elsewhere. And that was up against a repeat of CBS’ “The Big Bang Theory.”

Interesting, eh?

By the way, ABC has now re-re-scheduled the originally planned premiere of “Romantically Challenged,” an episode titled “One-Night Stand,” for next week. As I noted earlier, that was the episode that critics actually reviewed, even though ABC postponed it at the last minute, airing the pilot instead.

And that, kids, is today’s episode of “Spinning With the Networks.”

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