8:50am PT by Michael O'Connell
TV Ratings: 'Dancing With the Stars' Returns Up Nearly 25 Percent From Last Fall
Dancing With the Stars, which suffered from no lack of ballroom drama with the introduction of Ryan Lochte, returned to its best premiere ratings in more than two years.
The two-hour bow, taking place a week before the official start of the season, dominated broadcast TV for the night with a 2.6 rating among adults 18-49 and 13.7 million viewers. And while the overall audience might be more or less stable, the episode marks nearly a 25 percent surge in the key demographic. Dancing With the Stars hasn't hit those premiere highs in more than four cycles.
Local NFL preemptions mean that the score will likely adjust downward, but it will still emerge in much better shape than any recent premiere.
A bonus episode of The $100,000 Pyramid (1.4 adults) rounded out the night, giving ABC an easy edge in both adults 18-49 and total viewers.
NBC, wrapping up its Monday summer combo of American Ninja Warrior and Running Wild With Bear Grylls, came in No. 2 for the night. Ninja Warrior, just renewed, pulled a 1.7 rating in the key demo — while Running Wild earned a 1.2 rating in the key demo.
On Fox, the finale of So You Think you Can Dance pulled a 0.7 rating among adults 18-49.