Brian Williams, Jon Stewart
NBC kept ratings expectations low for Rock Center with Brian Williams — and met them. Well, maybe they surpassed them a little bit.
Dancing With The Stars
Dancing with the Stars stomped Game 5 of the World Series, averaging 17.17 million fans vs. 14.32 million.
In the 18-to-49 demographic, though, Fox's baseball coverage beat ABC's program, which was spiced up Monday night by a spat between Maksim Chmerkovskiy and judge Len Goodman, 4.2 to 3.2. NBC's The Sing-Off pulled in 4.18 million (1.6) over two hours, Nielsen data shows.
Joe Rogan, Fear Factor
NBC will premiere what it's calling the "bigger and more outrageous" version of Fear Factor on Dec. 12, the network announced Wednesday.
Fear Factor will take over The Sing-Off's 8/7c timeslot a week after the singing competition wraps Season 3. Hosted once again by Joe Rogan, the show will follow the same format of the original — awarding $50,000 to the team that overcomes their fears and wins the final challenge.
Check out all the familiar faces returning to TV this year
Upcoming challenges will include...
Castle nabbed the most viewers in the final hour of Monday's prime time for the fifth straight week — 11.50 million vs. 10.87 million for CBS' Hawaii Five-0, which nonetheless won in the 18-to-49 demographic, 3.1 to 2.6. NBC, meantime, again ran a repeat of Prime Suspect in the former time slot of the canceled The Playboy Club, which 2.74 million people (0.8) watched.
Jenny McCarthy and Ashton Kutcher
Two and a Half Men started so big that even a fourth consecutive week of decline has still left it with enviable numbers.
The Ashton Kutcher-led CBS sitcom at 9/8c entertained 16.20 million fans and scored a 5.9 rating among 18-to-49-year-olds Monday night. Most network shows that night hit season lows up against the major league playoffs on Fox, as well as Monday Night Football -- which scored 16.38 million viewers --and Kim Kardashian's "fairy-tale" wedding, which drew a combined total of 10.5 million Sunday and Monday nights, making it E!'s most-watched event ever.
Dancing With The Stars
Overwhelmed by all those two-hour reality shows? You're not alone, and even the networks admit that it's a lot to watch. But they still benefit from those supersized series — so expect to see even more shows go the expansion route.
Two-hour episodes used to be rare, and reserved for special milestones. But what was once a stunt is now the norm, as two-hour series like Dancing with the Stars, The Sing-Off, The Biggest Loser and The X-Factor all take up loads of on-air real estate — sometimes eating up as much as four hours of programming a week (if lengthy results shows and recap specials are included).
Terra Nova, which didn't exactly debut with dinosaur-sized (or even Dinah Shore-sized) numbers, still stood on terra firma with 8.31 million viewers, down about 8 percent from its debut, Nielsen overnight data shows. Fox's sci-fi thriller also matched its 3.1 rating among 18-to-49-year-olds for its premiere.
6 burning questions From House's Season 8 premiere
The House Season 8 premiere that followed Terra Nova on Fox got 9.77 million people, posting a 3.9 in the advertiser-coveted age group — down just 9 percent and 7 percent from its fall 2010 start when it aired at 8/7c instead of 9/8c.
Fox's Terra Nova opened to solid, though not monster-sized, numbers, scaring up 9 million viewers Monday, according to Nielsen overnight data.
The sci-fi thriller — with effects that wowed various critics but left them wanting more from the script and characters — scored a 3.0 rating among 18-to-49-year-olds for its two-hour premiere, while Week 2 of Dancing with the Stars — Nancy Grace's nip slip and all — posted a 3.3 rating and reeled in 16.02 million fans. Head to head with those Fox and ABC shows, NBC's The Sing-Off sang to 4.39 million (1.7 rating).
Two and a Half Men
How curious were people about Ashton Kutcher replacing Charlie Sheen on Two and a Half Men? Some 27.76 million people tuned in — numbers that rival American Idol. On cable, Sheen set a ratings record of his own.
Two and a Half Men
This being such an epic week in the TV business, with the majority of new and returning shows premiering in the kickoff to the official TV season, I'm adjusting my "guide to the week" format all week to focus separately on each night as a whole: analyzing the programming strategies and showdowns while previewing the pilots and season openers I've seen in advance.
Monday in a Nutshell: ABC and CBS should continue to dominate. Dancing With the Stars has once again cast a buzz-worthy group — though some are wondering if they've overstepped and alienated their more mainstream fans with lightning-rod contestants like Chaz Bono and Nancy Grace. (Get over it, folks. It's a dancing show, all for fun.) And Castle makes for a fine nightcap. CBS' popular comedy lineup includes one new winner (Two Broke Girls) and one show in transition (Two and a Half Men) that's more talked about than almost any new fall series, while Hawaii Five-0 more than holds its own. Fox is shaking things up with its big-budget fantasy spectacular Terra Nova (which bows next week), which should open big at the very least. We'll see if its family-friendly tone attracts a broader-than-cult following. A Cuddy-free House (premiering Oct. 3) may be on its ...