'Dancing With the Stars' delights, 'Heroes' falls

Whether they came for the dancing or to gawk at Cloris Leachman‘s cleavage, most TV eyes last night were tuned into ABC’s two-hour premiere of Dancing With the Stars (pictured). The first episode reached 21.1 million viewers, according to overnight ratings, down about 3 percent from last March’s debut of 21.8 million, but still a number that would please even Len Goodman. Those Stars fans apparently don’t care much for William Shatner and James Spader, however, as the season premiere of Boston Legal only managed 9.5 million viewers, losing more than half of Stars‘ audience.

Meanwhile, CBS debuted its Monday night lineup to strong numbers, especially for How I Met Your Mother (9.7 mil) and Two and a Half Men (14.9 mil), which were up 20 percent and 10 percent, respectively, from last year’s debuts. The Big Bang Theory was slightly down from last year’s premiere (9.4 mil vs. 9.5 mil), while CSI: Miami drew a sunny 16.9 million viewers, 1.8 million more than last season’s debut episode. Newbie series Worst Week didn’t have the worst debut, attracting 11 million viewers, though that is a loss of almost 4 million from its Men lead-in.

The biggest disappointment of the night would have to be NBC’s flailing Heroes. The network’s 8-9 p.m. recap special drew an un-heroic 6 million viewers. Then, the two-hour premiere reached only 10 million viewers, down about 29 percent from the 14.1 million who tuned in for season 2’s premiere. (Last year, NBC was able to get Nielsen to add together Heroes’ ratings for the initial Monday night premiere along with a Saturday repeat to come up with a final number of 17 million.)
While DVR playback should boost the Heroes premiere numbers, that lukewarm start could still be a sign that the series’ superpowers are weakening

UPDATE: Wondering how The CW’s Monday lineup fared against all this fresh competition?
Pretty solidly, actually. Gossip Girl reached 3.4 million viewers, down about
300k from the previous week’s series high of 3.7 million. Meanwhile, Chad
Michael Murray and the folks of One Tree Hill also saw a decline of 300k,
with this week’s episode nabbing 3.1 million pairs of eyes.


Annie Barrett’s Dancing With the Stars season premiere recap

DWTS: Kristi Yamaguchi is season 6 champ 

Marc Bernardin’s Heroes season premiere recap

Heroes: Season 2’s best and worst

Heroes creator apologizes to fans for season 2 mistakes

Gillian Flynn’s review of Worst Week

Comments (73 total) Add your comment
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  • kara

    What about Fox and CW shows??? (although in the case of Fox shows I should say what’s the point since there is about 99.9% sure chance that both of the shows WILL be canceled!)

  • jaime

    Um how did Gossip Girls and One Tree Hill do?
    It was all about them last week…

  • Jesse

    Thank god How I Met Your Mother premiered strong. Lord knows it needed the ratings to keep it from being cancelled after this year.

  • M

    i’m actually glad to see solid numbers from heroes. after 9 months of no episodes, coming off a strike shortened second season, and double digit premier makes me pretty glad.

  • Daryl

    The writers strike was so detrimental to shows like Lost, Heroes and 24. I’ve always been a big fan of 24 but with almost two years of waiting, I’ve lost the anticipation I used to have for the show. I loved Heroes but it will take a while to get back into it. These shows need momentum and interrupting their seasons weakened their run. I hope all these shows can get back on track.

  • jlk

    Heroes was seriously lame last season they want to blame it on the writers strike but it was awful anyway. You can’t believe anything on that show because they never kill anyone off. They all come back, to the detriment of the show. Kring and crew need to get over the fear of firing or letting someone go.

  • Jane

    Why Two and a Half Men is still watched? That is WRONG!

  • Sean

    No one under 50 watches Two and a Half Men. They are a very faithful demographic.

  • Jon

    I watched all 4 seasons of lost straight through in a week on the internet. The first 3 in HD on my big monitor. Never watched it before now I’m hooked. I did the same thing with Heroes on it’s first and second seasons, watched them on the internet. This too me is the best way to become totally completely sucked in. No waiting a week to find out what happens, only a very few commercials (not quite TiVo). It’s like if you’re rich and roll around naked in a pile of cash. It’s like eating a whole cake in one sitting. It might not be healthy but it sure is fun.
    I hope they find a way to include my viewing in the ratings some day (not likely… a year behind). I don’t have cable. My only TV watching is via internet or purchasing DVDs.

  • David

    Terminator is one of the most DVR’d
    shows on TV, as well as one of the most purchased (itunes/unbox) and streamed (hulu and fox.com).
    It’s not produced by FOX (WB gets all the DVD/Bluray and download $, which basically pays for the show), so it doesn’t have to be a ratings monster anyway (fox wins just by showing it; it’s their 4th or 5th most watched program in primetime, and is making decent $$$ until Idol and 24 arrive

  • M

    actually the writer’s strike DID have an impact. not just for heroes. look at ratings across the board since the strike ended. most have been down…

  • Anonymous

    Two and a Half men is a great show

  • raven

    heroes has been gone a while, and seeing as it’s last season was not very good, i’m not surprised it’s numbers are down. i’ll still be tuning in though, as long as this season is better then last season.

  • JT

    Terminator and Prison Break are both under 6 million viewers. That’s lower than soem of their shows they cancelled last year.

  • Matt

    Heroes horrible ratings prove that the show has sucked since the season 1 finale and has got worse since than.

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