Castle beat time-slot rival CSI: Miami for the first time ever Monday, pulling in the ABC procedural dramedy's biggest audience so far.
The episode — the first half of a two-parter that ended with Detective Kate Beckett (Stana Katic) being blown up in her apartment — drew 12.9 million viewers and recorded its best-ever rating among adults 18-to-49. CBS' CSI: Miami attracted 10.9 million viewers and fell to an all-time low in the demo, according to Nielsen overnight estimates.
Castle got a boost, of course, from following Dancing with the Stars' two-hour Season 10 premiere, which drew its largest opening-night audience ever -- 23.9 million viewers.
ABC decisively won the night as three of CBS' comedies took a ratings blow as CSI: Miami did. With the exception of Rules of Engagement (8.5 million viewers), which was up 22 percent, the network's comedy block of How I Met Your Mother (8.5 million viewers), Two and a Half Men (14.4 million), and The Big Bang Theory (13.4 million) was down about 12 percent in the demo.
Fox took third place for the night with a House repeat (5.1 million viewers) and 24 (8.5 million).
NBC was hit pretty hard, as both Chuck (5.4 million viewers) and Trauma (4.3 million) tied series lows in the demo. Law & Order drew 5.9 million viewers at 10/9c.
On the CW, Life Unexpected and Gossip Girl pulled in 2 million viewers and 1.9 million, respectively.
On cable, Discovery announced that Sunday's broadcast of HD nature show Life drew 11.8 million viewers, trumping 2007's Planet Earth by 1.5 million viewers and marking the network's most-watched debut since 2000's Walking with Dinosaurs.