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ABC’s ‘Dancing’ On the Rise, CBS’ ‘Friends’ Looks Solid on Monday

UPDATE: In updated national estimates released late Tuesday by Nielsen, the story got even better for ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars” (2.6 rating/7 share in adults 18-49, 15.88 million viewers overall), which gained two tenths from its prelim score to close within 0.4 of NBC’s “The Voice” (3.0/9 in 18-49, 11.58 million viewers overall), which held at its earlier demo number. The two programs tied in women 18-49 (3.7/10).

Also for ABC, “Castle” edged up (2.0/6 in 18-49, 10.39 million viewers overall).

At CBS, “2 Broke Girls” (2.2/7 in 18-49, 7.8 million viewers overall) grew a tenth while “Friends With Better Lives” held at its number (1.9/6 in 18-49, 6.11 million viewers overall), so both shows were up two tenths week to week.

The only other change for an original episode was a one-tenth gain for CW’s “Tomorrow People” (0.4/1 in 18-49, 0.93 million viewers overall), which ended up building on its “Star-Crossed” lead-in (0.3/1 in 18-49, 0.83 million viewers overall) in most categories.


NBC won another Monday behind “The Voice” and “The Blacklist,” but the story of the night was the resurgent “Dancing With the Stars” on ABC, which was the night’s No. 3 program in young adults and was the closest in demos it’s been this season to the Peacock’s music contest. Also of note was the continued solid performance of CBS comedy “Friends With Better Lives,” which rose week to week.

According to preliminary national estimates from Nielsen, “Dancing With the Stars” averaged a 2.4 rating/7 share in adults 18-49 and 15.1 million viewers overall — up 9% (0.2) from last week while gaining about 1 million total viewers to widen its lead on every other Monday program in the latter. These are the best numbers for the show since its most recent cycle opener in mid-March, and it was up 14% in 18-49 from the same night a year ago (2.4 vs. 2.1) — its fifth straight week of year-over-year gains.

The stronger “Dancing” also helped “Castle” show slight week-to-week gains at 10 (second-place 1.9/5 in 18-49, 10.1 million viewers overall). If it holds in the nationals, this would be a near three-month high for “Castle” in 18-49 and a five-month best in total viewers.

At NBC, “The Voice” (3.0/8 in 18-49, 11.4 million viewers overall) remained the night’s No. 1 program in 18-49 and 25-54 (3.9/10), on par with last week but off 30% from its 18-49 score on the opening Monday of the 2013 May sweep (4.3), when the show was about a month earlier into its cycle.

Head-to-head, “The Voice” beat “Dancing” by 25% in both 18-49 and 18-34 and by 15% in adults 25-54, with its biggest advantages coming in key male demos. The ABC program pulled to within one-tenth in women 18-49 (3.6/10 vs. 3.5/10) and two-tenths in women 25-54 (5.0/12 vs. 4.8/11).

Closing the night for NBC, as it swept all six half-hours in 18-49, was impressive rookie “The Blacklist” (2.7/8 in 18-49, 10.9 million viewers overall), which was down a tick from last week but controlled its hour in key demos while also winning in total viewers. And even though “The Voice” was down sharply in 18-49 from its showing on this comparable night a year ago, “Blacklist” performed 50% better than last year’s “Revolution” (2.7 vs. 1.8).

At CBS, “2 Broke Girls” (2.2/7 in 18-49, 7.8 million viewers overall) was up 5% from last week kicking off the night, and “Friends With Better Lives” (1.9/6 in 18-49, 6.2 million viewers overall) retained a good 86% of its 18-49 lead-in, rising 12% (0.2) from last week. As CBS is making decisions on its fall schedule, it has to be pretty pleased with the performance of “Friends” through four episodes.

The week-to-week gains continued at 9 p.m. for CBS, as “Mike & Molly” (2.2/6 in 18-49, 7.5 million viewers overall) grew 16% in 18-49 (0.3) and finished a competitive third in its slot in adults 25-54 — 1 share behind “The Voice” and 2 shares behind “Dancing With the Stars.” Special repeats of “The Big Bang Theory” (1.7/4 in 18-49, 6.3 million viewers overall) and “Person of Interest” (0.9/2 in 18-49, 4.5 million viewers overall) closed the night for the Eye.

At Fox, “The Following” edged up with its finale (1.5/4 in 18-49, 4.8 million viewers overall) but still ran fourth in 18-49 and came in down 44% from its first-season closer (2.7); despite its lower averages this season, it seemed to hold the viewers it had down the stretch. A repeat “Bones” kicked off the night (0.9/3 in 18-49, 4.0 million viewers overall). “24: Live Another Day” bows next week for the net.

CW’s “Star-Crossed” (0.3/1 in 18-49, 0.9 million viewers overall) and “The Tomorrow People” (0.3/1 in 18-49, 0.9 million viewers overall) remained low.

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: NBC, 2.9/8; ABC, 2.2/6; CBS, 1.6/5; Univision, 1.3/4; Fox, 1.2/3; Telemundo, 0.4/1; CW, 0.3/1.

In total viewers: ABC, 13.4 million; NBC, 11.2 million; CBS, 6.1 million; Fox, 4.4 million; Univision, 3.0 million; Telemundo, 1.1 million; CW, 0.9 million.


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