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CBS led the broadcast pack on the first Monday of the year, riding original episodes of its comedies and “Hawaii Five-0” opposite ABC’s return of “The Bachelor” and “Castle” and repeats on the other nets.

ESPN was expected to challenge for the night’s 18-49 lead, meanwhile, with its coverage of college football’s Orange Bowl contest pitting Stanford against Virginia Tech.

But it was CBS that won rather easily among the Big Four, winning each half-hour and led by impressive scores for comedies “How I Met Your Mother” (3.9/11 in 18-49, 10.4 million viewers overall), “Rules of Engagement” (3.4/9 in 18-49, 9.9 million viewers overall), “Two and a Half Men” (4.6/11 in 18-49, 15.3 million viewers overall) and “Mike and Molly” (3.7/9 in 18-49, 12.6 million viewers overall) — all up vs. their most recent originals in mid-December.

“Mother,” which had its best 18-49 score since September, was the night’s No. 1 show in 18-49 share (tied with “Men”) and 18-34 rating (3.2), while “Men” led all shows in 25-54 (6.2) and total viewers. The Eye also prevailed among the broadcasters at 10 p.m. with an original episode of “Hawaii Five-0” (2.9/8 in 18-49, 10.8 million viewers overall). And for the night, CBS led the broadcasters in 18-49, 25-54 and total viewers.

At ABC, the premiere of “The Bachelor” averaged a 2.9/7 in 18-49 and 9.0 million viewers overall from 8 to 10 p.m., coming in below the demo delivery of its January 2010 bow (which aired opposite CBS comedy repeats); in total viewers, though, its premiere-night tally topped two of the previous three editions. And an original episode of “Castle” (2.4/7 in 18-49, 9.6 million viewers overall) was a solid second to “Hawaii” at 10.

Fox and NBC were still in repeat mode, with the former going with “House” (1.5/4 in 18-49, 4.8 million viewers overall) and “Lie to Me” (1.1/3 in 18-49, 3.9 million viewers overall) and the latter with “Chuck” (0.7/2 in 18-49, 2.5 million viewers overall) and special “The Biggest Loser: Where Are They Now?” (1.0/3 in 18-49, 2.7 million viewers overall).

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: CBS, 3.6/9; ABC, 2.7/7; Univision, 1.6/4; Fox, 1.3/3; NBC, 0.9/2.

In total viewers: CBS, 11.6 million; ABC, 9.2 million; Fox, 4.3 million; Univision, 4.2 million; NBC, 2.7 million; CW, 0.9 million.