Midseason missteps

Most new shows lose postpremiere momentum

Broadcast ratings fell overall last week with several recently premiered midseason shows settling from their debut heights.

ABC's "Dancing With the Stars," for instance, dropped for its Monday performance show (21.2 million viewers, 5.3 rating/ 14 share in preliminary adults 18-49) while continuing to top the evening, then declined again for its first Tuesday results show (12.7 million, 2.8/7) of the spring.

The network's new detective drama "Castle" (11 million, 2.9/8) likewise went lower for its second episode, albeit slightly. NBC's new Sunday night drama "Kings" (4.6 million, 1.3/3) sank from its debut and was the lowest-rated original show on broadcast for the night, with lead-out "The Celebrity Apprentice" (7.4 million, 3.0/7) also falling. Wednesday's "America's Next Top Model" (3.8 million, 1.7/5) on the CW and Thursday's "Hell's Kitchen" (7.5 million, 3.3/8) on Fox followed the trend, though both performed well for their respective time periods.

Midseason shows swimming against the current were slim, including CBS' Monday night sitcom "Rules of Engagement" (11.4 million, 4.0/10), which improved its rating last week.

Fox again topped the week in the adult sales demographic, with CBS winning as usual among total viewers. Fox's "American Idol" fell on Tuesday (21.9 million, 8.1/22) and in its new time period on Wednesday (23.7 million, 8.7/21), though "Lie to Me" (10.3 million, 3.1/10) performed impressively while self-starting without "Idol" for the first time at 8 p.m. On Thursday, "Bones" (10.5 million, 3.0/9) climbed slightly.

CBS was second in the adult demo, highlighted by Sunday's interview with President Obama on "60 Minutes" (17 million, 3.9/11), which ranked as the network's most-watched show. The viewership boosted "The Amazing Race" (12.4 million, 3.6/9) to its largest audience since November. CBS also had four nights of the NCAA men's basketball tournament, led by Saturday night's coverage.

ABC placed third but had the two top-rated scripted series: Sunday's "Desperate Housewives" (14.7 million, 5.0/12) and Thursday's "Grey's Anatomy" (14.6 million, 5.0/13). The new comedy "Better Off Ted" (5.5 million, 2.1/6) had a modest premiere on Tuesday, however.

NBC's lineup was topped by Thursday's "The Office" (8.1 million, 4.0/10), with Tuesday's "The Biggest Loser" (8 million, 3.2/9) taking a hit against "Dancing." (partialdiff)