Spears delivers 'Mother's' highest ratings


A guest appearance by Britney Spears on Monday gave the CBS sitcom "How I Met Your Mother" its highest rating ever.

"Mother" spiked to a series high 4.5 preliminary rating among adults 18-49, even as the rest of the CBS comedy lineup fell from last week's record-setting return to original episodes.

Critics were relatively impressed. "Britney the Trainwreck showed how she can still be Britney the Performer," wrote the Associated Press. "Spears proved she can act every bit as well as she can sing," wrote the New York Daily News. "Brit looked slim, (OK she was behind a desk), trim and gorgeous," wrote the New York Post.

The second week of strong "Mother" ratings (10.6 million, 4.5/12) assures the one-time bubble comedy will be renewed for the fall. "Mother" was the fourth-highest-rated show of the evening, and CBS won the night (averaging 12.5 million, 4.4/11).

At 10 p.m., "CSI: Miami" was the first major broadcast network drama to return with post-strike original episodes. "Miami" easily won the 10 p.m. hour and outperformed its previous season average by 7% (15.8 million, 4.8/12).

CBS' other comedies dropped slightly from their post-strike returns last week, however. "Big Bang" was down 6% (8.6 million, 3.4/10), "Two and a Half Men" was the highest-rated show of the night but also fell 6% (14.2 million, 5.1/13), and "The New Adventures of Old Christine" dropped 12% (9.9 million, 3.8/9).

ABC was second with the second week of "Dancing With the Stars" falling off 11% and "The Bachelor" dropping a steeper 16% to place last in the 10 p.m. hour, matching its series low amid the increased competition from "Miami."

Fox and NBC tied for third. NBC aired "My Dad Is Better Than Your Dad," dropping to a new all-time low and going below the line for a major broadcast network series (7.1 million, 1.2/3). NBC then aired "Deal or No Deal" (7.1 million, 3.0/7) and "Medium" (8.8 million, 3.0/8). Fox had a repeat and "New Amsterdam" (6.3 million, 2.0/5).

The CW had a repeat and "Girlicious" (1.5 million, 0.8/2).