ABC's hit reality show,Dancing with the Stars, beat out scripted fare and led that network to victory in a close race for first place on the first night of major head-to-head new season competition, according to Nielsen Media Research overnight numbers (those numbers could change slightly when the national numbers come in).
ABC, which averaged a 4.7 rating/12 share, was carried to victory on the sequined backs of the women stars featured on the premiere of Dancing with the Stars, which averaged a 6/15 for its hour-and-a-half debut.
The network said that 4.7 rating was up 44% from its opening Monday last season.
NBC was a close second at a 4.6/11 in the early returns, and it claimed the top-rated show with the new-season debut of Heroes (6.5/15). NBC also saw growth in the 8 p.m.-9 p.m. hour with the debut of Chuck, which averaged a 3.3/9 in its first half-hour against Dancing but grew to a 3.9/10 in its second half-hour.
NBC's new drama, Journeyman, went in the other direction, starting out with a 4.0/10 as the Heroes lead-out but dropping to a 3.4/9 in its second half-hour.
CBS was third on the night with a 4.2/1, led by returning veterans Two and a Half Men (4.7/11) and CSI: Miami (4.6/12). CBS' Big Bang Theory averaged a 3.7/9 from 8:30 p.m.-9 p.m.
Fox was fourth with a 2.7/7, followed by The CW, the only network with an all-repeat lineup, which averaged a 0.7/2.