Cha Cha Goes Ka-Ching! For ABC


ABC's fancy footwork may have translated into network broadcastings first off-season hit.

It's debut of reality show, Dancing With the Stars, drew a 4.2 rating/12 share, its biggest Nielsen overnight rating in the 18-49 demo since the season ended a week ago and enough to push it to a nightly win in the demo with a 3.3/10.The show, which would tend to skew older since it was ballroom dancing, had a big household number, averaging over 13 million viewers.

In Dancing With the Stars, celebrities--including boxer Evander Holyfield and actor John O'Hurley (Mr. Peterman on Seinfeld)--are teamed with professional dancers in an audience vote-off contest to see which team can trip the lightest fantastic. A repeat of Lost on ABC at 10 p.m. also contributed, winning its time period with a 3.2/9, topping repeats of CSI: NY on CBS and Law & Order on NBC.

NBC was second on the night, with a 2.9/8 for an original music special, Eagles Farewell tour (3/9) and Law & Order (2.7/7).

An Idol-less Fox was third, with an average 2.4/7 for a four-pack of That 70's Show repeats, while CBS was fourth with a 2.3/7 for an all-repeat lineup save for 60 Minutes Wednesday, which wasn't much help, averaging a 1.6/5, tied for fifth place with netlet The WB. CBS' CSI: NY was that network's top show with a 3.1/9 at 10 for second place in the time period.

The WB was fifth with a 1.3/4 for new reality series, Beauty & the Geek (1.6/5), and a repeat of Smallville. UPN brought up the rear with repeats of All of Us, Eve, and Kevin Hill.