As expected, the penultimate episode of ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars” drew very strong numbers last night, dominating its hour among adults 18-49 and total viewers and setting up high expectations for tonight’s finale.
But the rest of ABC’s schedule looked much less promising. Two returning second-year shows notched disappointing results, making ABC’s Monday nights going forward look potentially problematic.
“Stars” averaged a season-high 6.2 rating among adults 18-49, according to Nielsen overnights, well above its season average of 5.4 for Monday competition shows. It also drew 24.7 million total viewers, nearly triple second-place “Chuck’s” 8.3 million in the 8 p.m. hour.
But from there, things went somewhat sour. “Samantha Who?” managed a respectable 4.1 18-49 rating and 12.6 million viewers, but lead-out “Notes from the Underbelly” at 9:30 p.m. dropped roughly a third on both counts, to a 2.9 and 8.3 million.
At 10 p.m., “October Road” slipped further, to a 2.3 and 6 million viewers, finishing behind NBC’s struggling “Journeyman” on both counts.
“Underbelly” and “Road” were mildly successful midseason replacements last spring, though neither pulled huge numbers. ABC smartly paired them with “Samantha,” which is the season’s No. 1 new show thanks to its “Stars” lead-in, on a night that skews heavily female.
But even with “Stars'” huge audience to lead off the night, the rest of ABC’s lineup sank quickly. In fact, for the first time this season, CBS managed to tie ABC on a Monday night for first place, despite airing one repeat.
The networks each averaged a 4.0 overnight rating and a 10 share, with NBC third at 3.7/9, Fox fourth at 2.5/6, Univision fifth at 1.8/4 and CW sixth at 1.0/2.