‘How I Met Your Mother,’ ‘Castle’ Among Monday Winners While ‘Following’ Remains Sluggish

ABC, CBS tie for the night's lead in demos and total viewers

Castle Season 8

Without hot rookie “The Blacklist” out of its path, ABC vet “Castle” logged its best scores since November on Monday, teaming with “The Bachelor” to help the net tie with CBS for the night’s young-adult lead. The Eye’s “How I Met Your Mother” and “2 Broke Girls” were Monday’s top shows in demos.

Fox’s “The Following,” meanwhile, continues to look sluggish in the early going of its second season, failing to get any boost from the net’s coverage of the Super Bowl one night earlier.

According to preliminary national estimates from Nielsen, CBS ruled early with “How I Met Your Mother” (3.3 rating/9 share in adults 18-49, 9.3 million viewers overall) and “2 Broke Girls” (3.0/8 in 18-49, 9.2 million viewers overall), with the former down half a ratings point from its season high of the previous week but still dominating its timeslot, and the latter holding steady. “Mike & Molly” (2.6/7 in 18-49, 10.2 million viewers overall), “Mom” (2.3/6 in 18-49, 9.0 million viewers overall) and “Intelligence” (1.5/4 in 18-49, 7.5 million viewers overall) all seemed to take advantage of softer NBC competition and were able to finish in line with their above average deliveries of the previous week.

At ABC, “The Bachelor” (2.6/7 in 18-49, 8.2 million viewers overall) was up slightly week to week, winning its second hour in young adults and posting its top demo score since its season opener. “Castle” (2.1/6 in 18-49, 9.9 million viewers overall) followed with slight gains over its prior original and led its timeslot in all key categories.

Fox’s “Almost Human” (1.8/5 in 18-49, 6.4 million viewers overall) continues to look like a fairly good bet to return next season, down from its prior original but on par with “The Following” behind it (1.9/5 in 18-49, 5.8 million viewers overall). This is a series low for the Kevin Bacon drama, which had a big season premiere on a Sunday after football two weeks ago but has been nothing special in its first two regular-timeslot performances.

NBC’s “Hollywood Game Night” (1.5/4 in 18-49, 4.9 million viewers overall) matched the previous week’s series-high result in 18-49, but the net didn’t do much with its two-hour special “Sports Illustrated Swimsuit: 50 Years of Beautiful” (0.9/2 in 18-49, 3.2 million viewers overall).

CW’s “Hart of Dixie” (0.4/1 in 18-49, 1.2 million viewers overall) and “Beauty and the Beast” (0.3/1 in 18-49, 0.9 million viewers overall) matched their deliveries of last week.

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: ABC, 2.4/7; CBS, 2.4/6; Fox, 1.8/5; Univision, 1.3/3; NBC, 1.1/3; Telemundo, 0.6/2; CW, 0.4/1.

In total viewers: ABC and CBS, 8.8 million; Fox, 6.1 million; NBC, 3.8 million; Univision, 3.2 million; Telemundo, 1.4 million; CW, 1.0 million.