'Bachelor,' 'Castle' help net catch CBS; Fox's 'Following' rises

ABC’s “The Bachelor” surged to season highs for a second straight week Monday, teaming with “Castle” for the net’s best performance on the night in 10 months. The Alphabet caught CBS for the lead among adults 18-49.

Monday was also a good one for Fox’s “The Following,” which bounced back from its low of last week.

According to preliminary national estimates from Nielsen, “The Bachelor” averaged a 3.0 rating/8 share in adults 18-49 and 9.2 million viewers overall from 8 to 10 p.m., rising 11% from last week and the best non-finale delivery for the series in nearly two years. The dating show placed a close second to the CBS comedy block in 18-49 — pulling ahead at 9:30 p.m. (3.3/8) — while winning in adults 18-34 (2.7/8).

And at 10, “Castle” (2.2/6 in 18-49, 9.7 million viewers overall) was also on the upswing, matching its season high with the first half of a two-part episode that concludes next week.

ABC, which had its best young-adult showing with regular Monday programming since last March, tied CBS for the night’s lead in adults 18-49 and also edged out the Eye in total viewers.

For CBS, leadoff hitter “How I Met Your Mother” remains the standout (3.4/10 in 18-49, 8.8 million viewers overall), rising week to week to dominate its timeslot, ruling as Monday’s top show in adults 18-34 (3.0/10) and the only series on any network to deliver a double-digit 18-49 share on the night. It was followed by “Rules of Engagement” (2.8/7 in 18-49, 8.1 million viewers overall), “2 Broke Girls” (3.4/8 in 18-49, 10.1 million viewers overall), which tied “Mother” as Monday’s No. 1 show in 18-49 rating, and “Mike & Molly” (3.1/8 in 18-49, 10.3 million viewers overall), which retained a very strong 91% of its demo lead-in and was the night’s most-watched program overall.

Closing out Monday for CBS was “Hawaii Five-0″ (2.0/5 in 18-49, 9.0 million viewers overall), which placed a close second among the Big Four in the 10 o’clock hour.

Fox’s “Bones” (2.1/6 in 18-49, 8.3 million viewers overall) was down slightly from last week, but rookie drama “The Following” (2.8/7 in 18-49, 8.3 million viewers overall) built nicely on the vet and grew 17% week to week in 18-49. For a fifth straight week, the Kevin Bacon-fronted series was Monday’s No. 1 drama among 18-49ers.

At NBC, “The Biggest Loser” (2.1/5 in 18-49, 5.6 million viewers overall) was up slightly from last week and matched its comparable performance of a year ago (when the show aired on Tuesday). It was followed by “Deception” (1.2/3 in 18-49, 3.2 million viewers overall), which held at its modest level.

CW’s “The Carrie Diaries,” which looked like it was picking up steam a few weeks ago, dipped this week (0.4/1 in 18-49, 1.1 million viewers overall). Still, it performed much better than 9 p.m. vet “90210” (0.2/0 in 18-49, 0.5 million viewers overall).

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: ABC and CBS, 2.8/7; Fox, 2.5/6; NBC, 1.8/5; Univision, 1.6/4; CW, 0.3/1.

In total viewers: ABC, 9.4 million; CBS, 9.2 million; Fox, 8.3 million; NBC, 4.8 million; Univision, 3.8 million; CW, 0.9 million.

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