'Moonlight' waxes, wanes in return to air


CBS' cult-favorite vampire drama "Moonlight" returned Friday night, and the result is a ratings story as complicated as Nielsen numbers can get.

On one hand, "Moonlight" (8 million viewers, 2.1 rating/ 7 share in adults 18-49) won the 9 p.m. hour and helped CBS take the night. On the other, the competition was nonexistent; NBC's "Dateline" (7 million, 1.9/6) was the closest competitor.

Also, "Moonlight" had a strong retention of its "Ghost Whisperer" lead-in (9 million, 2.3/9) and at 10 p.m., "Numbers" performed similarly (9.6 million, 2.2/7). Still, "Moonlight" was down 9% from its prestrike original average. Other serialized shows coming back post-strike have dropped even more.

In other words, the "Moonlight" number is nothing for CBS to be proud of. Yet it is. (partialdiff)