Against mostly atypical competition, CBS’ regular Monday lineup dominated every half-hour in its return to originals last night after a week of repeats. ABC’s Dancing With The Stars, a huge draw among total viewers, sucks out (mostly older) audiences from the competition. As they didn’t face Dancing with originals for the first time this season, CBS’ comedies boosted their viewership. How I Met Your Mother (4.5/12 in adults 18-49, 11.7 million total viewers) was up a tenth in the demo vs. two weeks ago and drew its largest audience with a regularly scheduled episode in almost three years. (since January 12, 2009). Rookie 2 Broke Girls (4.6/11, 12.8 million) was flat in 18-49 and logged its largest audience since the premiere, which followed the Ashton Kutcher debut on Two And A Half Men. Speaking of Men (5.0/12, 15 million), it was down two tenths in 18-49 from its last original, while Mike & Molly (4.2/10, 12.8 million) was even. Men ranked as the top program of the night in 18-49 and total viewers, as did CBS as a network. The net’s wins were solidified by Hawaii Five-0‘s 3.0/8 in 18-49, up 7%, and 10.8 million total viewers. In the 10 PM hour, the CBS procedural easily topped ABC’s Castle (2.0/5, 8 million), which was down 13% from its last original two weeks ago to hit a season low. Castle was hurt by its underwhelming lead-in, new game show You Deserve It (1.0/2), which continued its rapid ratings descent, down 29% from last week. ABC’s best ratings came from the holiday specials in the 8 PM hour: A Charlie Brown Christmas (2.8/8, 9.1 million) was up 8% from last year’s telecast in 18-49, while Prep & Landing: Naughty vs. Nice (2.2/6, 7 million) was even with its premiere last year.
Fox pre-empted its Monday dramas for the 2nd Annual American Country Awards (2.0/5, 7.4 million), which was up 33% from last year’s telecast in 18-49 and 23% in total viewers. Fox finished second for the night behind CBS in 18-49 and total viewers. NBC had another Monday to forget with a The Sing-Off holiday special (1.1/3) and Rock Center With Brian Williams (0.9/2), which continued its big ratings swings, down 18% from last week to tie its series low. NBC (1.0/3) finished a distant fifth in 18-49 behind its English counterparts and Univision (1.5/4). The CW’s Gossip Girl (0.6/1) matched the series low from last week, and Hart Of Dixie (0.8/2) slipped a tenth.