Fresh off extensive promotion during Super Bowl XLV, in which Hugh Laurie did a misanthropic send-up of Mean Joe Greene's legendary Coke commercial, House won the first hour of Monday's prime time with 12.3 million viewers.
The Fox show's 4.3 rating among 18-to-49-year-olds was 16 percent higher than its last original episode, and its total viewers outpaced fresh installments of How I Met Your Mother (10.1 million) and Rules of Engagement (9.5 million at 8:30) on CBS; Chuck (5.4 million) on NBC and 90210 (1.8 million) on the CW.
Meanwhile, if boyfriends were like The Bachelor's ratings ... well, they'd be pretty reliable. The ABC show, which has been a consistent performer, averaged 9.7 million viewers over its two hours (starting at 8/7c), up by 200,000 last week.
At 9/8c, Two and a Half Men pulled in 15.1 million viewers — as usual, more than any Monday prime-time show. However, the premiere of Fox's The Chicago Code totaled 9.4 million — disappointing considering the House lead-in, but much better than the third season finale of Lie to Me (7.1 million) in the same timeslot a week ago. A new episode of the CW's Gossip Girl drew 1.6 million.
The Cape kept fluttering down on NBC, getting 4.6 million viewers. (For those keeping score, that's down over successive weeks from the 8.4 million who watched the premiere.)
At 9:30, a rerun of CBS' Mike & Molly drew an audience of 12.7 million viewers.
In prime time's final hour, a certain order was restored as Hawaii Five-0 finished first with nearly 10.9 million viewers, ABC's Castle second with 9.3 million and NBC's Harry's Law third with more than 9.1 million.