Charlie Sheen might have been high last season, but Two and a Half Men went higher without him and saw series highs.

CBS easily won the first night of the season as Two and Half Men scored nearly 28 million viewers to go along with its 10.3 adults 18-49 rating (leading not only the night, but any scripted show in the 2010-11 season by a wide margin) and was up more than 100% from last year’s season premiere.’Men’s’ premiere was the highest-rated, most-watched scripted season premiere since the September 25, 2005 season two premiere of Desperate Housewives (28.36 million).

With the huge lead-in, 2 Broke Girls got a very nice sampling and scored a 7.0 adults 18-49 rating, which would’ve easily made it the top scripted show of the 2010-11 season with adults 18-49! Comparisons to last year are unfair since Mike & Molly didn’t premiere with a jumbo-sized Two and a Half Men lead-in, but 2 Broke Girls was up 79% versus last season’s premiere of Mike & Molly.  It was the largest audience for a fall comedy premiere since in September 2001 (“Inside Schwartz”).

Earlier in the night How I Met Your Mother had a strong premiere at 8pm with 4.7 adults 18-49 rating, up 31% versus last year’s 8pm premiere, its best season premiere numbers ever, and the 8:30p episode was even stronger. Hawaii Five-0 was down only 13% from its series premiere last season, but that will still rankle some retentionistas.

Dancing with the Stars fell 24% from its fall 2010 premiere and had its lowest-rated premiere ever, but Castle fans still celebrate since Castle was up 22% with adults 18-49 from last season’s premiere to a 3.3 rating.

Things were much gloomier for NBC. The Sing Off didn’t crack a 2.0 rating and the premiere of The Playboy Club managed only a 1.6 adults 18-49 rating. By comparison, last season’s premiere of the now cancelled Chase scored a 2.5 adults 18-49 rating in the preliminary numbers.

The season finale of Hell’s Kitchen was up a little versus last week and averaged a 2.5 adults 18-49 rating from 8-10p. The 2.6 adults 18-49 rating for the final hour was in line with last season’s finale (which aired in December).

Late-night results are below the primetime data.

Broadcast primetime  ratings for Monday, September 19, 2011:

Time Net Show 18-49 Rating Viewers (Millions)
8:00 CBS How I Met Your Mother (Season Premiere) 4.7/13 11.26
ABC Dancing with the Stars (Season Premiere) 3.9/10 18.41
NBC The Sing-Off (Season Premiere 1.9/5 5.66
FOX Hell’s Kitchen (Season Finale) 2.5/7 5.85
CW H8R (R) 0.5/1 1.20
8:30 CBS How I Met Your Mother 5.1/13 12.24
9:00 CBS Two and a Half Men (Season Premiere) 10.3/24 27.76
ABC Dancing with the Stars (Season Premiere) 3.9/9 18.72
FOX Hell’s Kitchen (Season Finale) 2.6/6 5.88
NBC The Sing-Off (Season Premiere 1.8/4 4.74
CW Ringer (R) 0.4/1 1.01
9:30 CBS 2 Broke Girls (Series Premiere) 7.0/16 19.15
10:00 CBS Hawaii Five-0 (Season Premiere) 3.4/8 12.00
ABC Castle (Season Premiere) 3.3/8 13.60
NBC The Playboy Club (Series Premiere) 1.6/4 5.01
Half Hours
10:00 CBS Hawaii Five-0 (Season Premiere) 3.7/9 12.57
ABC Castle (Season Premiere) 3.4/8 14.35
NBC The Playboy Club (Series Premiere) 1.7/4 5.28
10:30 ABC Castle (Season Premiere) 3.1/8 12.86
CBS Hawaii Five-0 (Season Premiere) 3.1/8 11.42
NBC The Playboy Club (Series Premiere) 1.6/4 5.01

via NBC press notes:

In Late-Night Metered Markets Monday night:

  • In Nielsen’s 56 metered markets, household results were: “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” 2.8/7; CBS’s “Late Show with David Letterman,” 2.5/6; and ABC’s combo of “Nightline,” 3.5/8; and “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” 1.7/5.
  • In the 25 markets with Local People Meters, adult 18-49 results were: “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” 0.8/4; “Late Show,” 0.7/3; “Nightline,” 1.0/4; and “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” 0.5/3.
  • At 12:35 a.m., “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” (1.3/5 in metered-market households with an encore) tied CBS’s first-run “Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson” (1.3/5).  In the 25 markets with Local People Meters, “Late Night” (0.5/3 in 18-49 with an encore) topped “Late Late Show” (0.4/3).
  • At 1:35 a.m., “Last Call with Carson Daly” averaged a 0.7/3 in metered-market households and a 0.2/2 in adults 18-49 in the 25 markets with local people meters.

NOTE: All national ratings are “live plus same day” from Nielsen Media Research unless otherwise indicated.

Nielsen TV Ratings: ©2011 The Nielsen Company. All Rights Reserved.

You can see TV ratings from other recent Overnight ratings reports here.


Fast Affiliate Ratings: These first national ratings, including demographics, are available at approximately 11 AM (ET) the day after telecast, and are released to subscribing customers daily. These data, from the National People Meter sample, are strictly time-period information, based on the normal broadcast network feed, and include all programming on the affiliated stations, sometimes including network programming, sometimes not. The figures may include stations that did not air the entire network feed, as well as local news breaks or cutaways for local coverage or other programming. Fast Affiliate ratings are not as useful for live programs and are likely to differ significantly from the final results, because the data reflect normal broadcast feed patterns. For example, with a World Series game, Fast Affiliate Ratings would include whatever aired from 8-11PM on affiliates in the Pacific Time Zone, following the live football game, but not game coverage that begins at 5PM PT. The same would be true of Presidential debates as well as live award shows and breaking news reports.
Rating: Estimated percentage of the universe of TV households (or other specified group) tuned to a program in the average minute. Ratings are expressed as a percent.

Share (of Audience): The percent of households (or persons) using television who are tuned to a specific program, station or network in a specific area at a specific time. (See also, Rating, which represents tuning or viewing as a percent of the entire population being measured.)

Time Shifted Viewing – Program ratings for national sources are produced in three streams of data – Live, Live+Same Day (Live+SD) and Live+7 Day. Time shifted figures account for incremental viewing that takes place with DVRs. Live+Same Day (Live+SD) include viewing during the same broadcast day as the original telecast, with a cut-off of 3:00AM local time when meters transmit daily viewing to Nielsen for processing. Live+7 Day ratings include incremental viewing that takes place during the 7 days following a telecast.

For more information see Numbers 101 and Numbers 102.

Posted by:TV By The Numbers

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