ABC show rolls in total viewers Monday; race tight at 10

As expected, the return of ABC’s ”Dancing With the Stars” to a night that had been dominated of late by NBC’s ”The Voice” didn’t benefit either: The singing competition hit a season low but still led comfortably among young adults, while the hoofing hit had its lowest premiere score to date but still dominated in total viewers.

According to preliminary national estimates from Nielsen, NBC won the night in key demos behind ”The Voice” (4.5 rating/12 share in adults 18-49, 11.8 million viewers overall), which was down 13% week to week but produced a demo score that was more than three times what the net did with dramas opposite the ”Dancing” premiere of last spring. Head-to-head, it beat ”Dancing” by 29% in 18-49 and by 2% in adults 25-54, and stood as the night’s No. 1 show in these categories as well as adults 18-34 and teens.

NBC also had to be pleased with the performance of 10 p.m. drama ”Smash” (2.3/6 in 18-49, 6.7 million viewers overall), which was within a tick of its week-ago average despite facing two original dramas this week; for its hour, ”Smash” was slightly behind ”Hawaii Five-0” and ”Castle” in 18-49 while prevailing in 18-34.

At ABC, ”Dancing With the Stars” (3.5/9 in 18-49, 18.5 million viewers overall) tumbled more than 30% from its year-ago season opener and was also off 13% from its premiere last fall; still, for a veteran show against a hot newcomer like ”The Voice,” ABC has to be fairly pleased. Also getting a boost from the return of ”Dancing” was 10 p.m. drama ”Castle” (2.4/6 in 18-49, 11.9 million viewers overall), which was up by more than 10% from its last original to narrowly win the hour in 25-54 while cruising in total viewers.

CBS, whose lineup returned to original episodes for the first time in three weeks, had a solid showing from its comedy block, starting with ”How I Met Your Mother” (3.4/10 in 18-49, 8.2 million viewers overall) and ”2 Broke Girls” (3.4/9 in 18-49, 9.2 million viewers overall), which were down a bit from their most recent originals and neck and neck with ”Dancing” for second in 18-49 from 8 to 10. The 9 o’clock hour shows, ”Two and a Half Men” (3.8/9 in 18-49, 11.3 million viewers overall) and ”Mike and Molly” (3.2/8 in 18-49, 9.8 million viewers overall), were both up some from their last originals, and also were tight with ”Dancing” in the 18-49 category. Closing out the night, ”Hawaii Five-0” (2.5/6 in 18-49, 9.1 million viewers overall) scored a narrow victory over ”Castle” and ”Smash” in 18-49 and was a tick behind ”Castle” for the 25-54 lead.

Fox ran a distant fourth on the night, with both ”House” (2.0/6 in 18-49, 5.8 million viewers overall) and ”Alcatraz” (1.5/4 in 18-49, 5.1 million viewers overall) at season lows.

CW aired a special repeat of ”America’s Next Top Model” (0.3/1 in 18-49, 0.8 million viewers overall) followed by an encore of ”Hart of Dixie” (0.2/1 in 18-49, 0.7 million viewers overall).

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: NBC, 3.8/10; ABC and CBS, 3.1/8; Fox, 1.8/5; Univision, 1.6/4; CW, 0.3/1.

In total viewers: ABC, 16.3 million; NBC, 10.1 million; CBS, 9.5 million; Fox, 5.4 million; Univision, 3.9 million; CW, 0.7 million.

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