The savvy combo of sophomore series Samantha Who? and ratings gobbler Dancing With the Stars helped ABC win Monday night, according to preliminary ratings data. Samantha‘s season premiere (pictured: Christina Applegate) drew in 11.7 viewers — nowhere near the 14.9 million it banked with last fall’s series premiere, but up significantly over season 1’s 11.2 million average. DWTS, meanwhile, averaged 1.1 million viewers less than last week, but still handily won the 8 p.m. hour.
ABC may have reigned supreme with its trusty DWTS-Samantha Who? one-two punch, but the other networks managed to make notable gains from last week. CBS’s The Big Bang Theory (9.4 million) and CBS’ How I Met Your Mother (9.1 million) both saw slight gains in overall viewers from last week, and the Eye’s Two and a Half Men (14.6 million) gained 700,000 viewers from last week and placed first in the 18-49 demo. CBS’ freshman series Worst Week (9.8 million) gained a million viewers from last Monday (when it lost a half-million viewers) and appears to be climbing back toward the 11 million viewers it attracted for the Sept. 22 premiere.
Over at NBC, Heroes is at least moving in the right direction with this week’s boost to 8.6 million from last week’s 8.2 million, thought it’s still down 26 percent from last season’s average. And the Peacock’s Chuck (6 million), which has struggled so far this season, managed a 100,000-viewer gain from last week’s audience, which was down 11 percent from the disappointing premiere viewership.
As for The CW’s One Tree Hill, the latest installment of the show’s sixth season drew in 3.4 million viewers, which matched the series’ highest-rated episode on Sept. 29, while Gossip Girl averaged 3.3 million viewers, down a bit from its last episode (3.5 million) but still way over its season 1 average (2.2 million).
At 10 p.m., CSI: Miami gave CBS its usual win for this hour, with 13.0 million viewers, though that 9 percent drop continues the drama’s downward trend this season. CSI‘s competition came from the series premiere of NBC’s Christian Slater vehicle My Own Worst Enemy, which played head games with 7.3 million households and only lost 9 percent of its viewers over the hour, and ABC’s Boston Legal (8.5 million), which lost 1.3 million of last week’s viewers, presumably in large part due to having a Samantha Who? lead-in this week instead of that spangly behemoth DWTS, which last week managed to help Legal actually improve upon its season premiere numbers.
Fox aired baseball’s National League Championship Series last night, taking the third spot in households with 7.3 million viewers and precluding new episodes of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles and Prison Break.