ABC’s Dancing With the Stars returned strong last night (click here to see the score results of night one and vote for who you believe was the best), improving upon the show’s last season premiere by a solid 11% in adults 18-49 rating.
Meanwhile, the series premiere of Castle drew only so-so ratings, drawing 11.60M viewers and a 3.3 A18-49 rating. That’s merely okay. Half-hour to half-hour double-digit declines and sub-50 percent retention from the last half-hour of Dancing With the Stars is concerning.
Second place was heavily contested, with CBS coming out on top among households, but Fox narrowly finishing ahead in viewers and adults 18-49. Both networks, however, experienced week-to-week declines in the face of stiff competition from Dancing With the Stars. All four comedies on CBS (from 8:00-10:00pm) experienced double-digit week-to-week declines among households and viewers, while House drew lower than average numbers. While its lead-in was down, 24 managed to remain even from the week prior, even managing a slight, but noteworthy, nine percent gain from the week prior in A18-49 rating. Over on CBS, the network saw its best performance at 10:00pm with a new episode of CSI: Miami which easily bested its fellow competition.
Fourth place went to NBC, which had very little to be happy about last night. Most concerning was the continued slide from Heroes, which yet again hit series lows among households, viewers AND adults 18-49. Not good (be sure to check out my extensive feature on the show’s ratings decline at this link).
The CW, the only network running repeats, was last place.
Full ratings and breakdown’s, including my full analysis, week-to-week comparisons, etc., follow after the jump.
ABC finished in first place for the evening with a 11.9/18 household rating/share, 18.86 million viewers and a 5.1/13 rating/share among adults 18-49.
10.6/16 HH rating/share [#1]
16.13M viewers [#1]
5.8/14 A18-49 rating/share [#1]
- 8:00 p.m.: The eighth season premiere of Dancing With the Stars (14.0/21 HH rating/share, 22.50M viewers, 5.9/15 A18-49 rating/share). I went ahead and put both fall and spring comparisons just to show how consistent the show has opened over the last three cycles. Its best performance, and most important to any network, was the 11% gain in A18-49 rating over the fall premiere. Very good start to the new season.
Season premiere comparison (3/17/2008 – Spring):
Households – 13.3/21 to 14.0/21 (+5%)
Viewers – 21.15M to 22.50M (+6%/+1.35M)
Adults 18-49 – 5.6/15 to 5.9/15 (+5%)
Season premiere comparison (9/22/2008 – Fall):
Households – 13.4/20 to 14.0/21 (+5%)
Viewers – 21.34M to 22.50M (+5%/+1.16M)
Adults 18-49 – 5.3/13 to 5.9/15 (+11%)
Last week’s numbers (The Bachelor – 13th season finale):
Households – 10.0/15
Viewers – 15.48M
Adults 18-49 – 5.4/13
- 10:00 (10:02) p.m.: The series premiere of Castle (7.7/13 HH rating/share, 11.60M viewers, 3.3/9 A18-49 rating/share) drew only so-so ratings. Looking at it at purely a numbers perspective, 11.6M viewers and a 3.3 A18-49 rating is a solid start. However, there are some problems with this premiere. First off, retention was only 52% among viewers and 56% among A18-49 rating from its two-hour Dancing lead-in and just 48 and 49 percent, respectively, when looking at just the last half-hour of its Dancing lead-in. That’s concerning. Even more concerning, however, was the show’s half-hour slide. It went from 13.08M viewers and a 3.7 A18-49 rating from 10:00-10:30pm to 10.13M viewers and a 2.9 A18-49 rating from 10:30-11:00pm (-23 and -22 percent, respectively). There’s also a possibility of a further slide when the finals come out because Dancing With the Stars aired an approximate two minutes into the 10:00pm time slot. I don’t want to jump to conclusions just yet because after all this is just the first week, but at first look, this doesn’t look. Having said that, if the show managed to hold steady or increase in week two, then not all is lost. Update: While there was only a slight uptick in the ratings for Dancing With the Stars when the finals came out — 14.1/21 HH rating/share, 22.83M viewers and a 6.1/15 A18-49 rating/share — that was not the case at all for Castle, which took a big hit due to the two-minute ‘Dancing’ overrun. The show drew a 7.1/12 HH rating/share, 10.76M viewers and a 3.0/8 A18-49 rating/share. That’s a fall of nearly 1 million viewers from the fast national numbers. Overall, the show held less than half of its lead-in’s total audience (47 retention among viewers) and 49% among adults 18-49.
Last week’s numbers (The Bachelor: After the Final Rose, Part I):
Households – 11.4/18
Viewers – 17.47M
Adults 18-49 – 6.7/16
CBS followed in second place for the evening with a 7.2/11 household rating/share, but was third among both viewers (11.59 million) and adults 18-49 (4.0/10 rating/share).
7.8/12 HH rating/share [#2]
12.65M viewers [#2]
4.1/10 A18-49 rating/share [#2]
- 8:00 p.m.: The CBS comedies, starting with The Big Bang Theory (5.8/9 HH rating/share, 9.46M viewers, 3.6/10 A18-49 rating/share), took a bit of a hit against the season premiere of Dancing With the Stars. ‘Big Bang Theory’ declined by double-digits among both households and viewers, and near double-digits in A18-49 rating. Now, make no mistake, these are still very solid numbers (especially in A18-49 rating), but ever since hitting series highs two episodes ago when it aired out Two and a Half Men (12.72M viewers and a 4.5 A18-49 rating), the show is down 26% among viewers (-3.26M) and 20% in A18-49 rating. Somewhat concerning, yes, but again, the show still performs very strongly among adults 18-49, and I believe its chances for renewal are very good.
Households – 6.6/10 to 5.8/9 (-12%)
Viewers – 10.83M to 9.46M (-13%/-1.37M)
Adults 18-49 – 3.9/10 to 3.6/10 (-8%)
- 8:30 p.m.: Like its lead-in, How I Met Your Mother (5.2/8 HH rating/share, 8.50M viewers, 3.5/9 A18-49 rating/share) was hurt as well. Sliding double-digits among households, viewers and adults 18-49. But just as I mentioned for ‘Big Bang Theory’, the show’s performance among adults 18-49 is still very strong.
Households – 6.6/10 to 5.2/8 (-21%)
Viewers – 11.09M to 8.50M (-23%/-2.59M)
Adults 18-49 – 4.2/10 to 3.5/9 (-17%)
- 9:00 p.m.: Two and a Half Men (8.0/12 HH rating/share, 13.28M viewers, 4.7/11 A18-49 rating/share) countered double-digit slides in households and viewers, with a solid week-to-week performance in adults 18-49, sliding a miniscule 4% in the key demo.
Households – 9.2/13 to 8.0/12 (-13%)
Viewers – 15.47M to 13.28M (-14%/-2.19M)
Adults 18-49 – 4.9/11 to 4.7/11 (-4%)
- 9:30 p.m.: Rules of Engagement (6.3/9 HH rating/share, 10.04M viewers, 3.7/9 A18-49 rating/share) also managed to retain most of its week-ago A18-49 demographic, sliding just 5% (odd that Big Bang Theory and How I Met Your Mother slid among all three demos fairly evenly, while the latter comedies held stronger among adults 18-49).
Week-to-week numbers (third season premiere):
Households – 7.2/10 to 6.3/9 (-12.5%)
Viewers – 11.82M to 10.04M (-15%/-1.78M)
Adults 18-49 – 3.9/9 to 3.7/9 (-5%)
- 10:00 p.m.: Not only did, CSI: Miami (9.1/15 HH rating/share, 14.12M viewers, 4.3/11 A18-49 rating/share) manage a double-digit increase from the week prior among adults 18-49, the show easily out-rated the series premiere of Castle (by more than 2.5 million viewers and 1 full rating point among adults 18-49). Growth from its Rules of Engagement lead-in was also impressive at 41% among viewers and 16% in A18-49 rating.
Households – 8.6/14 to 9.1/15 (+6%)
Viewers – 13.42M to 14.12M (+5%/+0.70M)
Adults 18-49 – 3.8/9 to 4.3/11 (+13%)
FOX finished in third place for the evening with a 7.0/11 household rating/share, but managed a second place finish among both viewers (11.74 million) and adults 18-49 (4.2/11 rating/share).
6.5/9 HH rating/share [#3]
11.10M viewers [#3]
3.3/8 A18-49 rating/share [#3]
- 8:00 p.m.: House (7.2/11 HH rating/share, 12.13M viewers, 4.8/13 A18-49 rating/share) was unusually below average. Even with the double-digit declines, however, House was still the second-highest rated show last night among adults 18-49.
Episode-to-episode numbers (2/23/2009):
Households – 8.9/14 to 7.2/11 (-19%)
Viewers – 14.86M to 12.13M (-18%/-2.73M)
Adults – 5.5/15 to 4.8/13 (-13%)
- 9:00 p.m.: 24 (6.8/10 HH rating/share, 11.35M viewers, 3.6/9 A18-49 rating/share) had no adverse affect airing against the second hour Dancing With the Stars. In fact, the show managed slight growth from the week prior (better in A18-49) and had very strong retention from its House lead-in (94% in HH rating and viewers and 75% in A18-49 rating).
Week-to-week numbers (8:00-10:00pm):
Households – 6.5/9 to 6.8/10 (+5%)
Viewers – 11.14M to 11.35M (+2%/+0.21M)
Adults 18-49 – 3.3/8 to 3.6/9 (+9%)
NBC followed in fourth place for the evening with a 4.1/6 household rating/share, 6.46 million viewers and a 2.5/7 rating/share among adults 18-49.
4.4/7 HH rating [#4]
6.97M viewers [#4]
2.7/6 A18-49 rating [#4]
- 8:00 p.m.: Chuck (3.5/5 HH rating/share, 5.69M viewers, 2.0/5 A18-49 rating/share) took a decent hit, which is unfortunate because last night was one of the best episode’s of the series. It just can’t seem to find an audience.
Households – 4.0/6 to 3.5/5 (-12.5%)
Viewers – 6.66M to 5.69M (-15%/-0.97M)
Adults 18-49 – 2.4/6 to 2.0/5 (-17%)
- 9:00 p.m.: Heroes (4.1/6 HH rating/share, 6.63M viewers, 3.2/8 A18-49 rating/share) hit yet another low point. Scratch that, it hit three low points last night: among households (previous low was a 4.4 HH rating), viewers (previous low was 7.07M viewers) and among A18-49 (previous low was a 3.3 A18-49 rating). If you’re read my article about the show and its slide over the years, you know where I stand on this issue. If you haven’t, please do so. Here’s the link. I’ve tracked the ratings (viewers and A18-49 rating) and you can check out charts for each data point (viewers and A18-49). Again though, those A18-49 numbers are getting dangerously low. Note: These number will more than likely change when the finals are released, and since I’m tracking the show’s low points, I will update when the finals are release to see if these new lows hold.
Households – 4.5/6 to 4.1/6 (-9%)
Viewers – 7.15M to 6.63M (-7%/-0.52M)
Adults 18-49 – 3.3/7 to 3.2/8 (-3%)
- 10:00 p.m.: Medium (4.7/8 HH rating/share, 7.05M viewers, 2.5/7 A18-49 rating/share) was basically flat from the week prior, which makes sense considering it didn’t have much competition.
Households – 4.6/7 to 4.7/8 (+2%)
Viewers – 7.26M to 7.05M (-3%/-0.21M)
Adults 18-49 – 2.4/6 to 2.5/7 (+4%)
The CW finished in fifth place for the evening with a 0.9/1 household rating/share, 1.15 million viewers and a 0.5/1 rating/share among adults 18-49.
0.8/1 HH rating [#5]
1.06M viewers [#5]
0.5/1 A18-49 rating [#5]
- 8:00 p.m.: Gossip Girl-REPEAT (0.9/1 HH rating/share, 1.15M viewers, 0.5/1 A18-49 rating/share).
- 9:00 p.m.: One Tree Hill-REPEAT (0.9/1 HH rating/share, 1.15M viewers, 0.5/1 A18-49 rating/share).
Note: Network average numbers from the week prior are based on fast affiliate data. Comparison’s from the week prior (or episode-to-episode, etc.) on specific shows are based on final national data. Ratings for the current day are based on fast affiliate data. (Expect all three scenarios to be the case at all times, unless otherwise noted). The final rating for first-run episodes that aired this evening will be reported the following week. So for example, the final rating for tonight’s episode of “Dancing With the Stars” will be reported in next weeks report for Monday, March 16, 2009. Also keep in mind that because these are fast affiliate ratings, numbers may increase or decrease when the final nationals are released.