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

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

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

At 10, the return of CSI:
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.