Monday All-Night Football


While the rest of the broadcast networks rolled out fall season premieres, ABC ruled Monday’s prime time with a very strange evening of football. Yet CBS’ CSI: Miami was the highest-rated show among adults 18-49.

The first hour of ABC’s prime time lineup featured the New Orleans Saints in their “home opener” against New York—on the Giants' home turf. (The game actually started at 7:30 p.m.) Since the Saints cannot play in the New Orleans Superdome this season due to Hurricane Katrina’s destruction, the Giants were in the curious position of being a visiting team with the home-field advantage.

In most of the country, ABC bumped the Giants-Saints game over to ESPN at 9 p.m. to make way for the Monday Night Football matchup between the Washington Redskins and the Dallas Cowboys. But in the New York and New Orleans markets, the National Football League lifted a blackout (citing extraordinary circumstances), allowing the game to continue for local fans.

Confused yet? Here’s the important stuff: The Giants and the Redskins won, and ABC averaged a 6.2 rating/15 share among adults 18-49, according to Nielsen fast national data for Sep. 19.

Over on the non-football networks, fall season premieres abounded.

CBS placed second, averaging a 4.9/12 on the night. CSI: Miami’s season opener (6.5/16) was prime time’s best performer, and it beat ABC’s football game to win the 9 o’clock hour. Two and a Half Men notched a 5.2/12 in its season premiere at 9 p.m. The 8 p.m. King of Queens premiere was a royal disappointment at 3.4/10, topped by the series debuts of How I Met Your Mother (3.6/9) at 8:30 and Out of Practice (4.4/10) at 9:30.

NBC was in third place at 4.2/10. It debuted Surface (3.7/10), which topped the non-football programs in the 8 o’clock hour. Las Vegas returned to fall schedule at 9 p.m. with a 4.6/11 and Medium posted a 4.4/11 at 10 p.m., on the heels of star Patricia Arquette’s Emmy victory.

At 2.9/7, Fox finished in fourth place. Arrested Development managed a 2.0/6 for its third season premiere at 8 p.m. New show Kitchen Confidential (2.0/6) did about the same. Prison Break—which premiered two weeks ago—fared far better, at 3.8/9 on the night.

UPN (1.7/4 for the night) edged out the WB to stay out of last place. It aired four season premieres: One on One (1.5/4) at 8 p.m., All of Us (1.8/5) at 8:30; Girlfriends (1.9/4) at 9 p.m.; and Half & Half (1.7/4) at 9:30.

The WB (1.5/4) aired the season premiere of 7th Heaven (2.0/5) and the pilot of Just Legal (1.0/2).