Continuing with my recap of the 2009-10 broadcast primetime nights of the week, Monday was, to no ones  surprise a brutally competitive night. CBS emerged in the best shape as The Big Bang Theory’s move to 9:30 elevated it near the primetime ratings pinnacle, and its other shows ratings declines were not out of the ordinary. Lie To Me’s slide hurt Fox badly. Because of LTM, Fox failed to be competitive overall with CBS on the night.

ABC’s fortunes sank with Dancing With The Stars, as its 20% ratings tumble dragged their night down. Castle’s growth being a small bright spot for them. As expected, NBC was an also ran, but they fell harder than I expected as Heroes was just crushed and Trauma was a complete failure.

The content of my original post from 9/14/09 is below with new additions in red:

NOTE: The season-to-date averages below are only through March 21, and do not include any data for the week of March 22-28, so no Dancing With the Stars numbers for its premiere on March 22, and no season-high Castle after that premiere, etc.

Last fall, Monday night started as one of the most competitive nights on broadcast television, and it looks to be again between CBS, Fox and ABC. NBC’s down for the count.

Below are the hourly lineups, including each shows 18-49 demo rating average (which includes in-slot repeats) from the 2008-9 season as well as my guesses for the fall nightly overall results.

If you enjoyed the Monday night look ahead for the 2009-10 season, check out Sunday’sFriday’s,  Thursday’s, Wednesday’s and Tuesday’s. For those fans of ABC College Football and Fox’s Cops and America’s Most Wanted, no, there won’t be a Saturday preview.

8:00 (When House’s 9% loss looks good, you know this was a brutal hour)

Dancing With the Stars (ABC), 4.6 18-49 demo rating (8-10p) (3.7 rating to date this season)

How I Met Your Mother (CBS), 3.6  demo rating (3.1 rating to date this season)

House (Fox),  4.7 demo rating (4.3 rating to date this season)

Heroes (NBC), 3.6 demo rating (2.3 rating to date this season)

One Tree Hill (CW), 1.1 demo rating (1.0 rating to date this season)

8:30 (AoP does OK, but is OK good enough?)

Accidentally On Purpose (CBS), New (2.7 rating to date this season)

9:00 (Lie To Me tumbles, Trauma fails, 2.5 Men holds up)

Two And A Half Men (CBS) 4.7 demo rating (4.4 rating to date this season)

Lie To Me (Fox), 3.4 demo rating (2.5 rating to date this season)

Trauma (NBC), New (1.8 rating to date this season)

Gossip Girl (CW), 1.1 demo rating (0.9 rating to date this season)

9:30 (New timeslot is berry, berry good to TBBT)

The Big Bang Theory (CBS), 3.5 demo rating (4.7 rating to date this season)

10:00 (Castle proves a keeper, CSI: Miami slips, Affiliates kill Leno)

Castle (ABC), 2.4 demo rating (2.2 rating to date this season)

CSI Miami (CBS), 3.7 demo rating (3.3 rating to date this season)

The Jay Leno Show (NBC), New, Fall (1.4 rating on Mondays) 2009 Tonight Show averaged about a 1.4-1.5 demo rating

My Guess

I think just above an overall 4.0 adults 18-49 demo wins the night in the fall.

CBS and Fox look to be neck and neck at the top. The difference hinges on how well Lie To Me holds up at 9pm. It’s half of Fox’s average for the night. CBS’ only newcomer Accidentally on Purpose accounts for only 1/6 of CBS’ average for the night. It would really have to go really big or crash to have a major impact. ABC looks to be a close third.  Anything more than a 3.0 demo rating average from Castle and ABC may be contending.

NBC’s looking at a distant fourth. Heroes slid during all of last season and looks unlikely to reach back to its average from last year. Launching Trauma after it will be very difficult, and The Jay Leno show will dampen the averages. With just timeslot rearrangement of One Tree Hill and Gossip Girl, the CW looks to get about the results they had last season.

Note: I make all my guesses completely unburdened by having read any reviews of any of the new shows, having seen any of the pilots, or knowing any more than the most casual details of their subject matter. Does that make mine better or worse than the typical TV writer which focuses almost solely on those? Your mileage may vary.

Fox caveat: Regardless of their other shows, the outcome of the major league baseball playoffs can make or break Fox’s fall averages. If they get long series with good matchups their overall season averages benefit tremendously. If they get short series with bad matchups, they’ll suffer.

Posted by:TV By The Numbers

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