'Dancing' top show; ABC, CBS tie in demo


NEW YORK -- ABC's "Dancing With the Stars" waltzed its way to the top in Monday's primetime, though ABC and CBS ended up the night tied for the lead in the adults 18-49 demographic.

The penultimate episode of this season's "Dancing" (24.7 million, 6.2 rating/15 share in adults 18-49) easily was the night's top show in viewership and the demo, according to preliminary estimates released Tuesday by Nielsen Media Research. It was the highest rating of the season or "Dancing," which has helped ABC carry Monday night and launch the new sitcom "Samantha Who?"

With only an hour of "Dancing," "Samantha" (12.6 million, 4.1/9) managed to stand well on its own but ABC suffered a sharp decline with the return of "Notes From the Underbelly" (8.2 million, 2.9/7), though it was up from last year's season premiere (2.4/7).

CBS managed to keep up thanks to a new "How I Met Your Mother" (8.1 million, 3.3/8) and "Two and a Half Men" (15.3 million, 5.0/11), though both "Big Bang Theory" and "Rules of Engagement" were in repeats. NBC's "Chuck" (8.4 million, 3.3/8) scored its the best demo rating since Oct. 15 and "Heroes" (11.9 million, 5.3/12) having its highest adults 18-49 rating since Oct. 1. Fox was in fourth place for the night with repeats.

CBS' "CSI: Miami" (15.4 million, 4.6/12) had no trouble defeating its 10 p.m. rivals, the season premiere of ABC's "October Road" (6 million, 2.3/6) and NBC's "Journeyman" (6.2 million, 2.5/6).

ABC (13.7 million, 4.0/10) and CBS (12.2 million, 4.0/10) tied in preliminary estimates for the night's lead in adults 18-49 over NBC (8.8 million, 3.7/9); Fox (7 million, 2.5/6); and the CW (2.3 million, 1.0/2).