Eye wins night; Fox's 'Code' holds up fairly well

On a night when shows targeting young women, including ABC’s “The Bachelor,” were on the low side, CBS comedy “Mad Love” opened to decent numbers Monday. Meanwhile, Fox’s second-week cop drama “The Chicago Code” performed credibly relative to its “House” lead-in.

CBS won the night in adults 18-49, 25-54 and total viewers, according to preliminary national estimates from Nielsen that include same-night DVR playback, while ABC and Fox tied for second in the 18-49 demo. Primetime viewership among adults 18-49 across all of television dropped 6% week to week (35.0 rating vs. a 37.3 on Feb. 7) while the decline among women 18-34 was twice as big (31.5 vs. 35.9, down 12%). As a result, look for some shows to see especially big 7-day DVR playback.

“How I Met Your Mother” opened the night a winner for CBS (3.7 rating/11 share in adults 18-49, 9.6 million viewers overall), nearly matching its week-earlier delivery and ruling as the evening’s No. 1 scripted program in adults 18-34 (3.2/11). But at 8:30 p.m., the debut of “Mad Love” (3.0/8 in 18-49, 8.8 million viewers overall) slipped to second or third in most categories; it was in line with the timeslot debut of “Rules of Engagement” in the timeslot in September and down a bit vs. last week’s “Rules.”

CBS won the rest of the way thanks to “Two and a Half Men” (4.2/11 in 18-49, 14.5 million viewers overall), which was the night’s No. 1 program in its final original episode for a while, and “Mike and Molly” (3.8/10 in 18-49, 13.1 million viewers overall); latter rookie relationship comedy seemed to get a boost from its Valentine’s Day-themed episode, logging its best demo score since Nov. 22 and its largest overall audience to date. And at 10, “Hawaii Five-0″ (2.8/8 in 18-49, 10.6 million viewers overall) led across the board and was flat week to week in 18-49.

Fox opened with a narrow 18-49 victory for “House” (3.4/10 in 18-49, 9.9 million viewers overall), which declined 21% from last week’s strong delivery, which came one day after the net aired the Super Bowl. It was followed by “The Chicago Code” (2.0/5 in 18-49, 7.3 million viewers overall), whose 17% week-to-week decline looks pretty good when you factor in its lesser lead-in; still, the drama ran a distant third in its 9 o’clock hour.

ABC’s “The Bachelor” (2.9/8 in 18-49, 9.3 million viewers overall) dipped 10% week to week but still earned a solid second-place finish from 8 to 10 p.m., and “Castle” placed second in primetime’s final hour (2.2/7 in 18-49, 8.8 million viewers overall), also down vs. last week.

At NBC, “Chuck” (1.7/5 in 18-49, 5.5 million viewers overall) was flat week to week and remained fourth in the 8 o’clock hour, and was followed by “The Cape” (1.2/3 in 18-49, 4.1 million viewers overall), which edged down to another low as it nears the end of its run. And holding steady at 10 p.m. was rookie drama “Harry’s Law” (1.7/5 in 18-49, 8.5 million viewers overall).

CW, which figured to be hit hard by Valentine’s Day, was below average with its dramas “90210″ (0.7/2 in 18-49, 1.4 million viewers overall) and “Gossip Girl” (0.7/2 in 18-49, 1.3 million viewers overall).

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: CBS, 3.4/10; ABC and Fox, 2.7/8; NBC, 1.6/4; Univision, 1.4/4; CW, 0.7/2.

In total viewers: CBS, 11.2 million; ABC, 9.1 million; Fox, 8.6 million; NBC, 6.0 million; Univision, 3.8 million; CW, 1.3 million.

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