TV Ratings: 'Alcatraz' Gives Fox Strong Debut, Betty White Boosts NBC

Alcatraz Pilot Ep Sarah Jones - H 2012
Liane Hentscher/FOX

Alcatraz Pilot Ep Sarah Jones - H 2012

J.J. Abrams' newest series Alcatraz got off to a rocking start on Tuesday, against heavy competition that included Betty White's star-studded 90th birthday celebration.

The two-hour premiere of Alcatraz (10 million total viewers, 3.3 rating in adults 18-49 demographic) was ranks as Fox's highest-rated drama series debut since Human Target in 2010. Compared to last year's midseason launch of The Chicago Code, Alcatraz was up a hefty 38 percent among adults 18-49. Despite no lead-in, Alcatraz is tied with ABC's Revenge as the season's second-highest rated new drama.

NBC's 90-minute Betty White birthday special (13.9 million, 2.7) gave the network its biggest audience in the time period, not including the Olympics, since early 2008. A special preview of White's Off Their Rockers series (12.2 million, 2.6) proved to benefit from the strong lead-in. Rock Center With Brian Williams (5.6 million, 1.3) hit series highs across the board.

Even with the strong showings by Fox and NBC, CBS took the Monday ratings victory on the strength of the 150th episode of How I Met Your Mother (10.1 million, 4.4) and Two and a Half Men (12.9 million, 4.6), both jumping 13 percent and 5 percent, respectively. 2 Broke Girls (11.3 million, 4.5) and Mike & Molly (11.2 million, 3.8) were steady, while Hawaii Five-0 (10.5 million, 2.8) dipped 3 percent.

The Bachelor (7.3 million, 2.5) rose 9 percent with Castle (9.4 million, 2.3) remained flat from its last original.

The CW touted the return of Gossip Girl (1.3 million, 0.6), the first original episode in six weeks, holding steady.

8 p.m.
CBS: How I Met Your Mother (10.1 million viewers, 4.4 rating in adults 18-49)
Fox: Alcatraz (P) (10 million, 3.3)
NBC: Betty White's 90th Birthday: A Tribute to America's Golden Girl (13.9 million, 2.7)
ABC: The Bachelor (7.3 million, 2.3)
The CW: Gossip Girl (1.3 million, 0.6)

8:30 p.m.
CBS: 2 Broke Girls (11.3 million, 4.5)

9 p.m.
CBS: Two and a Half Men (12.9 million, 4.6)
The CW: Hart of Dixie (R) (791,000, 0.3)

9:30 p.m.
CBS: Mike & Molly (11.2 million, 3.8)
NBC: Betty White's Off Their Rockers (12.2 million, 2.6)

10 p.m.
CBS: Hawaii Five-0 (10.5 million, 2.8)
ABC: Castle (9.4 million, 2.3)
NBC: Rock Center With Brian Williams (5.6 million, 1.3)