Perhaps enticed by the notion of witnessing some never-before-performed dance routines — like (GASP) the jitterbug! — a whopping 18.6 million viewers tuned into ABC’s Dancing with the Stars last night, according to preliminary overnight ratings; that’s about 900,000 more people than last Monday’s dance-tacular. No show even came close to matching Stars‘ numbers during the 8 p.m. hour. Over at CBS, The Big Bang Theory (9.3 mill) and How I Met Your Mother (9.4) fell pretty much in line with their performances last week, with Theory slightly down (100,000) and Mother up a bit (300,000). NBC’s Chuck grew about 12 percent from last week’s numbers to 6.7 million, with more folks possibly tuning in for Nicole Richie’s much-hyped guest stint. Fox’s Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles continued to suffer with only 5.4 million viewers tuning in, and The CW’s Gossip Girl dropped 300,000 from last week, down to 3 million viewers.
At 9 p.m., CBS’ Two and a Half Men held strong opposite Stars with 14.6 million, equal to that of last week’s episode. It’s lead-out, Worst Week, continues to lose a large chunk of Men‘s audience with this week’s episode dipping to 9.9 million. NBC’s Heroes also continues to underperform with last night’s hour only managing 8.5 million, down from the previous week by 100,000. In its second week, ABC’s Samantha Who? continued to perform well at 11 million viewers, a dip of only 6 percent from last week’s premiere. Fox’s Prison Break, meanwhile, improved on its Sarah Connor lead-in by attracting 5.8 million. Most surprising was the surge for The CW’s One Tree Hill, which hit 3.6 million, a 20 percent jump from lead-in Gossip Girl.
David Caruso and his team at CBS’ CSI: Miami once again won the 10 p.m. hour with 13.3 million viewers, up 300,000 from last week’s airing. ABC’s Boston Legal bounced back from last week’s 8.5 million, jumping to 9 million — perhaps due to viewers flocking away from NBC’s My Own Worst Enemy. The Christian Slater drama, which premiered last week to a hardly stellar 7.3 million, dropped to 5.7 million this week, a hefty 22 percent loss.