But NBC's lineup overall sputters; CBS wins night

David E. Kelley drama “Harry’s Law” opened to respectable numbers for NBC on Monday, earning points for building on its lead-in and standing as the net’s top show of the night. CBS prevailed in demos behind its comedies and “Hawaii Five-0.”

According to preliminary nationals from Nielsen, CBS claimed the night’s top three programs among young adults, led by “Two and a Half Men” (4.6/11 in 18-49, 15.6 million viewers overall) — also the night’s most-watched show overall. Also for the net, “How I Met Your Mother” won its 8 o’clock slot (3.9/10 in 18-49, 10.5 million viewers overall), “Rules of Engagement” placed second at 8:30 (3.2/8 in 18-49, 9.8 million viewers overall) and “Mike and Molly” prevailed at 9:30 (3.8/9 in 18-49, 13.0 million viewers overall); all four comedies hit season highs in total viewers and CBS dominated that category for the night. Closing things out, “Hawaii Five-0″ (2.9/8 in 18-49, 10.6 million viewers overall) was an easy winner in demos at 10 o’clock.

Over at NBC, the new lineup of “Chuck” (2.0/5 in 18-49, 5.9 million viewers overall), “The Cape” (1.8/4 in 18-49, 6.2 million viewers overall) and “Harry’s Law” (2.1/6 in 18-49, 11.0 million viewers overall) settled for a fourth-place finish. “Chuck” matched its season high in 18-49 but ran fourth, while “The Cape” tied for third in its hour among the major networks and opened on its new night down about 30% in 18-49 vs. its special Sunday preview on Jan. 9.

And at 10, the Kathy Bates-fronted “Harry’s Law” ran second among the broadcasters, beating out a repeat of ABC’s “Castle” (1.4/4 in 18-49, 5.7 million viewers overall) while leading the hour in total viewers over CBS’ “Hawaii Five-0.” It edged up in some categories in its second half-hour, generally an encouraging sign for a 10 o’clock premiere.

Fox finished second on the night behind “House” (3.6/9 in 18-49, 10.6 million viewers overall), which was up a bit vs. its last original episode eight weeks ago, and “Lie to Me” (1.8/4 in 18-49, 5.9 million viewers overall), which tied NBC’s “Cape” in 18-49 during the 9 o’clock hour.

Third-place ABC was led by “The Bachelor” (2.7/7 in 18-49, 8.8 million viewers overall), though it came in noticeably lower than the same night a year ago.

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: CBS, 3.5/9; Fox, 2.7/7; ABC, 2.3/6; NBC, 2.0/5; Univision, 1.5/4; CW, 0.3/1.

In total viewers: CBS, 11.7 million; ABC and NBC, 7.7 million; Fox, 7.2 million; Univision, 3.7 million; CW, 1.1 million.

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