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House returns lower, Terra Nova ratings surprise

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Fox’s House returned to slightly lower ratings, while the second week of Terra Nova surprised and we have a third-week update on how the revamped Two and a Half Men is doing.

Monday night ratings are here, so let’s get right to it: The headline is Fox’s House, which is back for its eighth season. House had 9.8 million viewers and a 3.9 rating in the adults 18-49 demo. That’s down a mild 7 percent from last year — much less than many veteran shows on the dial.

House was helped by a strong lead-in, Terra Nova (8.3 million, 3.0). Everybody expected Terra Nova to drop notably in Week 2, but surprise-surprise — the sci-fi dino drama held up, off only a tenth of a point from its heavily hyped two-hour opener. The second episode was perhaps aided by the premiere receiving a rather heavy amount of DVR playback last week (my recap of Episode 2, “Angry Birds,” is here).

Another key show, of course, is CBS’ Two and a Half Men. The Week 3 Ashton-Watch Verdict: Down, again, but still huge, and winning the night. Men (17.2 million, 6.1) fell 18 percent, while inspiring a mere 11 percent drop for 9:30 p.m.’s Mike & Molly (13.2 million, 4.3). Meanwhile at 8:30 p.m., freshman comedy 2 Broke Girls (11.3 million, 4.4) dipped a slight 4 percent and HIMYM (10.5 million, 4.5) was steady. Hawaii Five-0 (10.9 million, 3.2) was also stable.

So CBS won the night and Fox was second. ABC ranked third with Dancing With the Stars (16.4 million, 3.1) and Castle (11.6 million, 2.6) dropping 6-7 percent.

NBC’s Sing Off (4.9 million, 1.8) was … up! Yay, an NBC show increased, with the singing competition climbing 6 percent. Despite the improved lead in, Playboy Club (3.4 million, 1.2) inched down another 8 percent towards its doom.

On The CW, some nice not-bad news: Gossip Girl (1.4 million, 0.7) held steady, and so did the second week of Hart of Dixie (1.8 million, 0.8).

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