Nice start for Fox’s ‘The Following’

Drama places second to CBS comedies Monday

Fox’s new serial-killer drama “The Following” opened pretty well Monday, placing a strong second to CBS comedies in its timeslot as the Eye won the night in all key categories. The Eye’s “How I Met Your Mother” and “2 Broke Girls” were the evening’s top shows overall.

According to preliminary national estimates from Nielsen, Kevin Bacon starrer “The Following” averaged a 3.1 rating/7 share in adults 18-49 and 10.4 million viewers overall in the 9 o’clock hour, building on its lead-in from “Bones” (2.3/6 in 18-49, 8.5 million viewers overall). And in another good sign, “Following” grew from a 3.1 demo rating in its first half-hour to a 3.2 for its second, finishing just a tick behind CBS’ “Mike & Molly” from 9:30 to 10.

The 3.1 rating for “The Following” ties with CBS’ “Elementary” as the season’s No. 2-rated drama premieres in 18-49. The only new drama to bow better among young adults was NBC’s “Revolution,” which benefited from a very strong lead-in courtesy of “The Voice.”

Fox could certainly use a hit, and right now “The Following” appears to be the net’s best hope for a hot show to emerge from the 2012-13 season.

Elsewhere, CBS led all six half-hours despite some week-to-week declines, starting with the strong “How I Met Your Mother” (3.7/10 in 18-49, 10.1 million viewers overall) and a special off-night repeat of “The Big Bang Theory” (3.2/8 in 18-49, 10.4 million viewers overall); the former was the night’s No. 1 program in men 18-49 (3.7/10) and persons 12-34 (2.8/8). They were followed by “2 Broke Girls” (3.7/9 in 18-49, 11.5 million viewers overall), Monday’s top draw in women 25-54 (5.0/10) and total viewers, and “Mike & Molly” (3.3/8 in 18-49, 10.8 million viewers overall).

And closing out the night was “Hawaii Five-0” (2.2/6 in 18-49, 9.6 million viewers overall), which had received additional exposure on Sunday with a special original episode following CBS’ coverage of football’s AFC Championship game.

In the battle of two-hour reality contests, ABC’s “The Bachelor” (2.5/6 in 18-49, 7.5 million viewers overall) edged out NBC’s “The Biggest Loser” (2.4/6 in 18-49, 6.1 million viewers overall). “Bachelor” hit season highs and logged the net’s best 18-34 rating in its 8-10 p.m. Monday time period (2.5/7) since the season premiere of “Dancing With the Stars” in September 2011. “Loser” has held steady with its first three airings this season, and Monday’s third episode was up a tick from its comparable seg of a year ago.

And from 10 to 11 p.m., the Alphabet’s vet “Castle” (2.0/5 in 18-49, 8.7 million viewers overall) was up week to week and easily topped the Peacock’s “Deception” (1.3/3 in 18-49, 3.6 million viewers overall), with the latter rookie declining for a second straight week following its OK bow on Jan. 7.

CW’s new drama “The Carrie Diaries” (0.5/1 in 18-49, 1.3 million viewers overall) was down a bit from its under-whelming premiere scores of last week. And the time-period premiere of “90210” didn’t do much either at 9 (0.4/1 in 18-49, 0.8 million viewers overall).

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: CBS, 3.0/8; Fox, 2.7/7; ABC, 2.3/6; NBC, 2.0/5; Univision, 1.7/4; CW, 0.4/1.

In total viewers: CBS, 10.3 million; Fox, 9.4 million; ABC, 8.0 million; NBC, 5.3 million; Univision, 3.9 million; CW, 1.0 million.

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