TV ratings: 'Dancing With the Stars' debuts with big numbers Monday

dwts-12-premiere-ratings.jpgFast National ratings for Monday, March 21, 2011

The return of "Dancing With the Stars" shot ABC to the top of the ratings Monday night. The show didn't quite match its record-setting premiere last spring, but it opened well above the already strong numbers it got for its fall 2010 run. It also helped "Castle" score its best ratings of the season.

Most of Monday's other shows, meanwhile, had below-average outings in the wake of the ABC steamroller.

ABC brought in 19.1 million viewers and a 12.0 rating/19 share in households in primetime, more than doubling the average of second-place CBS (8.8 million, 5.5/9). FOX (7.8 million, 4.7/7) came in third, beating NBC (5.5 million, 3.5/6). The CW was barely there with a lineup of reruns, drawing 654,000 viewers and a 0.4/1.

"Dancing" and ABC also dominated the adults 18-49 demographic with a 4.5 rating for the night. CBS finished second with a 2.8, a little ahead of FOX's 2.6. NBC could muster only a 1.4, while The CW earned a meager 0.2.

Monday hour by hour:

8 p.m.

ABC:
"Dancing With the Stars" (20.9 million viewers, 13.2/21 households)
FOX: "House" (9.3 million, 5.5/9)
CBS: "How I Met Your Mother" (7.95 million, 4.9/8)/"Mad Love" (6.55 million, 4.1/6)
NBC: "Chuck" (4.3 million, 2.5/4)
The CW: "90210" rerun (778,000, 0.5/1)

18-49 leader: "Dancing With the Stars" (4.7)

9 p.m.

ABC:
"Dancing With the Stars" (23.7 million, 14.8/23)
CBS: "Two and a Half Men" rerun (9.1 million, 5.9/9)/"Mike & Molly" (9.6 million, 6.0/9)
FOX: "The Chicago Code" (6.3 million, 3.8/6)
NBC: "The Event" (4.05 million, 2.6/4)
The CW: "Gossip Girl" rerun (529,000, 0.4/1)

18-49 leader: "Dancing With the Stars" (5.6)

10 p.m.

ABC:
"Castle" (12.7 million, 8.1/14)
CBS: "Hawaii Five-0" (9.8 million, 6.1/10)
NBC: "Harry's Law" (8.2 million, 5.4/9)

18-49 leader: "Castle" (3.3)

Ratings information includes live and same-day DVR viewing. All numbers are preliminary and subject to change. Source: The Nielsen Company.

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Photo/Video credit: ABC