Primetime Ratings: ‘House' Tops Night of Premieres
Two-hour opener gives Fox victory as CBS' Big Bang Theory beats Two and a Half Men and Leno drops below a 2.0
By David Tanklefsky -- Broadcasting & Cable, 9/22/2009 12:17:22 PM
The two-hour season premiere of Fox's drama House emerged as the runaway ratings winner on the first night of the broadcast networks' premiere week. The show averaged a 6.1/16 with 15.8 million viewers at 8 p.m. before rising to a 6.8/16 and 17.2 million viewers in its second hour. It's a significant jump for the show, whose one-hour premiere last fall averaged a 5.6/16 and 14.4 million viewers.
ABC's season premiere of Dancing With the Stars trailed House with a 4.0/10 in the 8 p.m. hour but led in total viewers with 17.4 million. It fell behind Fox and CBS, which aired premieres of Two and a Half Men (4.4/10) and The Big Bang Theory (4.6/10), at 9 and 9:30 respectively by pulling a 4.2/10. Still, Dancing was first in viewers again at 9, with 17.6 million. It was a sizeable drop in ratings and audience for Dancing from its season premiere in March, where it earned a 5.3/14 and 6.6/16 at 8 and 9 p.m., respectively. In the 9 p.m. hour of its March premiere, the show averaged 23.7 million viewers.
Elsewhere, CBS' The Big Bang Theory solidified expectations that it could be a breakout hit. The show debuted at 4.6/10, trumping Dancing With the Stars from 9:30-10 p.m. It attracted 12.8 million viewers. The show's season two premiere last fall averaged a 3.6/10 and 9.4 million viewers.
The Jay Leno Show fell to third place in the 10 p.m. hour to start its second week as it faces far tougher competition than it did in its first week against mostly reruns. The nightly comedy hour fell below a 2 rating for the first time, recording a 1.8/5.
Following House and Dancing With the Stars at 8 p.m. was CBS at 3.4/9 for the season premieres of How I Met Your Mother (3.5/9) and Accidentally On Purpose (3.2/8) at 8 and 8:30 respectively. The network averaged a 3.4/9 for the hour, which was ahead of NBC at 2.8/7 for the fourth-season debut of Heroes. The CW finished fifth with One Tree Hill averaging a 1.2/3.
The premiere of Two and a Half Men was good for second place in the 9 p.m. hour for CBS, but was down from last fall's debut of 5.3/12. The second hour of NBC's Heroes premiere inched lower to 2.7/6. The CW was fifth on the hour at 1.1/2 with Gossip Girl.
At 10, the return of CSI: Miami delivered a 4.3/11 and 13.7 million total viewers. That was down from the 5.1/12 time period win in its premiere last season. ABC's Castle season premiere was second at 2.3/6.
On the night Fox won with a 6.5/16 and 16.5 million viewers. CBS was next with a 4.0/10. ABC earned a 3.5/9. NBC finished fourth at 2.4/6. The CW was fifth with a 1.1/3.
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