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Nice start for ABC’s ‘Proof’

'Dancing,' 'NCIS' top Tuesday ratings race

ABC and CBS were the standout performers in primetime Tuesday, with the former riding ”Dancing With the Stars” and a good start for drama ”Body of Proof” and the latter remaining potent with its ”NCIS” combo.

According to preliminary national estimates from Nielsen, ABC opened the evening with a recap of the first two weeks of ”Dancing With the Stars” performances, averaging a solid second-place 2.7 rating/8 share in adults 18-49 and 12.7 million viewers overall. Then came the first ”Dancing” results show of the season, which was the night’s No. 1 program (4.2/11 in 18-49, 18.8 million viewers overall). The Alphabet capped the night with the debut of Dana Delany crime drama ”Body of Proof” (3.0/8 in 18-49, 13.9 million viewers overall), which led the 10 o’clock hour in all key categories and gave the net its strongest regular-score delivery in the time period among adults 18-49 in three years and its largest overall audience in six years.

”Proof” did decline in its second half-hour (going from a 3.2 rating at 10 p.m. to a 2.8 at 10:30), but even that second half-hour led its broadcast rivals handily. ABC had been averaging about a 1.3 demo score with firstrun regular programming in the hour this season (mostly ”Detroit 1-8-7”).

At CBS, ”NCIS” keeps humming along (3.8/11 in 18-49, 18.3 million viewers overall), winning the 8 o’clock hour and standing as the night’s No. 1 scripted program. ”NCIS: Los Angeles” followed with strong retention at 9 p.m. (3.5/9 in 18-49, 15.2 million viewers overall) despite facing ”Dancing,” but the net dropped off rather sharply at 10 p.m. with ”The Good Wife” (1.9/5 in 18-49, 10.0 million viewers overall), which appears to have hit a series low opposite ”Body of Proof,” for which it competed for female viewers.

NBC’s ”The Biggest Loser” (2.6/7 in 18-49, 7.1 million viewers overall) was down week to week opposite increased reality competition from ABC, but built to a sturdy 3.0/7 in 18-49 during the 9:30 p.m. half-hour. And at 10, ”Parenthood” was on the low side (1.9/ in 18-49, 10.0 million viewers overall) and was also probably affected by ABC’s ”Proof” premiere.

Fox ran a distant fourth on the night among the Big Four (and also lagged Univision) with its repeats of ”Glee” (1.4/4 in 18-49, 4.4 million viewers overall) and ”Raising Hope” (1.3/3 in 18-49, 3.6 million viewers overall) and an original ”Traffic Light” (1.1/3 in 18-49, 2.6 million viewers overall).

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: ABC, 3.3/9; CBS, 3.1/8; NBC, 2.3/6; Univision, 1.9/5; Fox, 1.3/4; CW, 0.3/1.

In total viewers: ABC, 15.1 million; CBS, 14.5 million; NBC, 6.3 million; Univision, 4.5 million; Fox, 3.8 million; CW, 0.8 million.

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