Most every broadcast show was dealt a blow by the combo of St. Patrick's Day revelry, daylight savings time and warmer weather. Here are Tuesday's tallies:
American Idol's country croonfest was the night's most watched program, delivering 21.54 million total viewers — a 15 percent drop from last week's sing-off. NCIS placed second with a season-low 15.5 mil (down 13 percent from its last fresh outing).
Nipping at the heels of the Dancing with the Stars recap, The Biggest Loser weighed in with 7.9 mil, shedding 15 percent of its previous audience. Reaper (1.88 mil) managed to rid itself of another 290K.
Placing second behind Idol, The Mentalist slipped 15 percent to see its smallest audience ever — 15.4 mil. Dancing with the Stars first results show of the season drew 12.42 mil, a 28 percent plunge from the comparable outing a year ago.
Without a Trace won the hour with nearly 12 mil, dipping just 215K from its last new episode. Law & Order: SVU scored second with 10.58 mil, dropping 460 thou.
Dancing with the Stars
Dancing with the Stars
9 pm/ET ABC
The first results show of Season 8 features a new element for the series: a dance-off between the bottom two couples facing elimination. But before someone makes the season's inaugural exit, there will be songs from injured contestant Jewel ("Somewhere over the Rainbow") and swing band Big Bad Voodoo Daddy ("Calloway Boogie"). Also: Choreographer Michel Rooney takes on the season's first "Stars of Dance" performance with a Busby Berkeley-inspired number.
Read on for previews of The Mentalist, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Real Housewives of New York City and Without a Trace.
It's a girl for The Mentalist's Maxine Bahns. The actress gave birth to a daughter named Madison Rose, on Sunday in Santa Monica, Calif., People reports. Madison, who tipped the scales at 6 pounds 2 ounces, is the first child for Bahns and her husband ...
Real Housewives: New York
10 pm/ET TNT
The catchy caper show's inaugural season begins winding down with the first of a two-part finale. (Part 2 airs next week.) Tonight's mission impossible turns intensely personal for team leader Nate Ford. Our modern-day Robin Hoods close in on one Ian Blackpoole (Kevin Tighe), the big-business miscreant who denied medical treatment for Nate's son, leaving the boy to die. The crack crew schemes to steal the greedy CEO's Michelangelo maquette, but their plan is jeopardized when Nate's ex-coworker (Mark A. Sheppard) makes an unforeseen appearance. The episode was directed by Dean Devlin, producer of the films Independence Day and Godzilla.
Read on for previews of Real Housewives of New York City, Frontline, The Mentalist and Dogg After Dark.
You might remember Amanda Righetti as Hailey on The O.C. or as Jenna on Fox's promising but ultimately short-lived Reunion. Now, on CBS' The Mentalist, Righetti has settled into the still-evolving role of Grace Van Pelt, a rookie investigator whose strong morals and relative inexperience are a conflicting combination. "It's always going to be two steps forward and two steps back for Grace," she says. TVGuide.com asked her what's up with her character's on-again, off-again flirtation with Rigsby (hint: it's off again), why she ends up hand in hand with Jane (!) and how she practiced her scream for that new Friday the 13th remake.
Simon Baker, The Mentalist
All is right in the perfect world of The Mentalist.
On the show's set, on a crisp, sunny day in Los Angeles, everyone is smiling. The stars are smiling, the public relations people are smiling, and the reporters shuttled in from their hotel to eat donuts and talk to the cast are smiling. But no one smiles brighter than Simon Baker.
Patrick Dempsey (Grey's Anatomy), Felicity Huffman (Desperate Housewives) and Carmine Giovinazzo (CSI: NY)
Senior editors Matt Mitovich, Mickey O'Connor and Tim Molloy answer your questions every Wednesday. Please, feel free to drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Grey's Anatomy's Derek has got his mother's ring. Now what? — Gayle
MATT: Dude needs to unload it and quick, I'd say! Instead (sigh), he will hold onto it long enough for virtually every Seattle Gracer — Meredith excluded, of course — to learn of the bauble's being and in turn offer their two cents on when and how he should pop the Q. Will Der stick to his original plan? And if so, does it involve a meticulously crafted arrangement of candles?
I love Tom Scavo on Desperate Housewives this season. Any scoop? — Marcia
MICKEY: Well, remember how it was Tom's dream to open an Italian restaurant, and how begrudgingly Lynette went along with the idea? Well, apparently now he has a different dream ...
Simon Baker, The Mentalist
Those who like getting their Patrick Jane fix on Tuesdays should not fret that The Mentalist is airing a brand-new episode this Sunday at 10 pm/ET.
"Right now, we are so happy with how it's doing in its current time period, I don't think we'd move it," CBS Entertainment president Nina Tassler told reporters ...
The Biggest Loser's Gerald Hayes, Scrubs' Zach Braff
The Nielsens this week have experienced delays, so I just had two days' worth of data dumped on my desk. Here are selected highlights:
• Fox's coverage of the Fiesta Bowl dominated the night with 16 million total viewers.
• NBC's Superstars of Dance (9.59 million) dropped 615K from its Sunday bow.
• The arrival of ABC's new Bachelor averaged 8.7 mil, barely grabbing third at 8 pm/ET and dropping to No. 4 come 9 o'clock.
• Gossip Girl (2.94 mil) more or less matched its most recent audience, while One Tree Hill (2.63 mil) enjoyed a gain of 420 thou.
• ABC's True Beauty debuted to 7.64 mil, placing a distant second behind a CSI: Miami repeat.
• NCIS netted 19.07 million viewers, its second-largest audience ever (trailing only this past Dec. 16). That set up The Mentalist for yet another series high, 19.56 mil.
• The Biggest Loser: Couples debuted to 11.82 mil, the series' biggest premiere ever and a 51 percent increase over the Families opener.
• The ABC premiere of Scrubs averaged 6.7 mil across two episodes — a 25 percent improvement upon the sitcom's NBC send-off.
• Both 90210 (2.78 mil) and Privileged (1.74 mil) dipped 150K.
• Without a Trace scored 13.2 mil, down 1.5 mil from its last fresh episode (which delivered a season high). SVU (10.65 mil) slipped 250 thou.
Welsh actor Owain Yeoman is, surprisingly, not sick of answering "the accent" question. In fact, he loves it when people think he's American. As "jock cop" Wayne Rigsby on CBS' The Mentalist (Tuesdays, 9 pm/ET), Yeoman is responsible for a lot of the drama's lighter moments, as he gorges himself on whatever food is available and stumbles sweetly in his attempts to woo a fellow agent. Yeoman spoke to TVGuide.com about Rigsby's future romantic prospects, precisely which accent he's aiming for and why his answers to our questions will be way better than Tim Kang's.