The newest show with the smallest audience in the Monday-at-10/9c time slot made the biggest news — and got a ratings boost.
In its third week on the air, Rock Center with Brian Williams scored its first big "get" as Bob Costas interviewed former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky about the child sexual abuse allegations against him, attracting 4.49 million viewers and posting a 1.3 rating among 18-to-49-year-olds — a 30 percent increase in the demo. It also marked the newsmagazine's biggest viewership yet, though that bar is low with audiences of 3.51 million and 4.13 million in its first two weeks.
Still, Nielsen overnight figures show that it remained a distant third to a special edition of ABC's 20/20 — which itself scored a scoop with Diane Sawyer interviewing Rep. Gabrielle Giffords — and CBS' Hawaii Five-0; those shows attracted audiences of 13.35 million (2.8 demo rating) and 11.47 million (3.3), respectively.
Fox's tandem of Terra Nova and House lured 7.06 million viewers (2.3 demo rating) and 6.66 million (2.5, respectively, while on The CW, Gossip Girl drew 1.24 million (0.6) and Hart of Dixie 1.58 million (0.6).
As for the CBS comedy block, it helped the network to an overall ratings victory: How I Met Your Mother (10.38 million/4.5 demo rating); 2 Broke Girls (11.68 million/4.8, highest demo since the series premiere); Two and a Half Men (14.59 million/5.3, the night's demo high); and Mike & Molly (12.23 million/4.4).