CBS' new 'Rules' good for Monday win


NEW YORK -- CBS' Super Bowl halo shone over the network Monday and the premiere of its heavily promoted new sitcom "Rules of Engagement."

NBC's "Deal or No Deal" and "Heroes" also put up awesome numbers, Fox's "24" was down week-to-week and "Rules of Engagement" premiered well following strong promotion up to and including CBS' Super Bowl telecast.

While CBS won the night it was far from a cakewalk; it didn't win in the demo between 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. and bowed to NBC's "Deal or No Deal" in viewers. But a strong performance by "Two and a Half Men" -- even against "24" and "Heroes" -- as well as the dominance of "CSI: Miami" gave CBS the edge it needed.

"Deal or No Deal" dominated at 8 p.m., averaging 17.3 million viewers and a 5.0 rating/12 share in the adults 18-49 demographic, according to preliminary data released Tuesday by Nielsen Media Research.

That was well ahead of anything else on any other network. CBS got better numbers from "How I Met Your Mother" (10.8 million, 3.9/10) and "The Class" (9.7 million, 3.6/9), with "How I Met Your Mother" getting the best ratings of the season in both adults 18-49 and adults 18-34. "The Class" scored its best ratings since the season premiere. Fox's "Prison Break" (10.1 million, 4.1/10) stayed even with last week.

The race got interesting at 9 p.m., with "Heroes" (14.5 million, 6.4/14) coming in ahead of last week's 13.6 million viewers and 6.1/14. That was well ahead of either "24" (13.6 million, 5.0/11) or the CBS sitcoms "Two and a Half Men" (17.8 million, 5.8/13) and the premiere of "Rules of Engagement" (14.9 million, 5.2/12). "Rules" though got the best ratings in the time period all season; it's usually occupied by "The New Adventures of Old Christine."

The 10 p.m. hour went by far to CBS' "CSI: Miami" (18.2 million, 5.7/14) while NBC saw slight week-to-week improvement in the demo with "Studio 60" (7.2 million, 3.2/8) while ABC came in third place witht "Instyle Celebrity Weddings" (6 million, 2.6/7), which replaced "What About Brian."

Nightly averages: ABC (8 milion, 3.3/8); CBS (14.9 million, 5.0/12); Fox (11.8 million, 4.6/11); NBC (13 million, 4.8/12); and The CW (2.8 million, 1.2/3).