Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino, Karina Smirnoff
On the first official night of the fall TV season, Dancing with the Stars led ABC to a ratings win, while Fox's Lone Star was the night's biggest disappointment, according Nielsen estimates.
Dancing's two-hour premiere averaged 21 million viewers and improved 22 percent in the adults-18-to-49 demographic over last fall. Leading out of Dancing, Castle (11.2 million viewers) also saw a 22 percent bump in the demo versus last year.
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CBS took second place, bolstered by a solid (but lower-than-expected) debut for Hawaii Five-0
, which drew 13.8 million viewers. It won the 10/9c timeslot, but was down in the demo versus
's performance a year ago.Two and a Half Men
(14.5 million viewers) was up 7 percent in the demo, while other returning comedies, How I Met Your Mother
(8.8 million viewers) and Rules of Engagement
(8.3 million viewers), were flat. Boosted by Men
, new comedy Mike & Molly
drew 12.2 million, but was down 17 percent in the demo compared to The Big Bang Theory
's performance last year.NBC's conspiracy thriller, The Event
(11.2 million viewers), was strong out of the gate, leading NBC to third place for the night. Chuck
(6.1 million viewers) was down from Heroes
debut a year ago, and new series Chase
(7.3 million viewers) dropped a significant chunk of The Event
Read our recaps of The Event, Lone Star and more!
Critical praise didn't translate to big numbers for Fox, as Lone Star
drew only 4.1 million viewers and dropped 68 percent of its lead-in, House
(10.5 million viewers), which was also down significantly compared to last year.Despite heavier competition, the CW's 90210
(2.2 million viewers) improved 11 percent in the demo from a week ago, while Gossip Girl
held steady with 1.9 million viewers.In cable news, HBO's Sunday premiere of Boardwalk Empire
drew 4.8 million viewers, making it the network's biggest series premiere
in more than six years. The number grew to 7.1 million viewers when factoring in repeat airings.