« GLAAD: Gay characters to double this season | Main | Video: Lilly and Garcia drop 'Lost' hints »

September 23, 2008

'Heroes' returns lower; CBS wins Monday

Heroes_sylar_2The two-hour premiere of NBC's top drama "Heroes" was down 25% compared with last year's one-hour opener, taking an expected hit following a creatively middling second season and an extended nine-month hiatus prompted by the writers strike. 

The "Heroes" debut (9.9 million viewers, 4.9 preliminary adults 18-49 rating and a 12 share -- video clips here) and matched its lowest original episode rating ever. ("Heroes" was actually down even more, 33%, if you include NBC's heavily protested move last fall to roll its Saturday encore rating into its premiere). Clip show lead-in "Heroes: Countdown to the Premiere" (6 million, 2.6/7)  placed third in the hour.

NBC's weaker standings gave CBS a clear opening to lead the night, and the network took it: CBS won its first premiere week Monday since 2002, while NBC placed third.

Proving that not every broadcast show returns weaker than last year, CBS' "Two and a Half Men" (14.9 million, 5.3/12) -- whose repeats were on like a ratings champ nightlight during strike -- returned up 10% from last year to top the night with its best premiere in four years.

"How I Met Your Mother" (9.7 million, 4.0/10) retained the newfound energy the show built poststrike (Britney Spears, etc) and came back a striking 21% higher than last season. The second-season debut of "The Big Bang Theory" (9.4 million, 3.6/10) was down a tenth, however.

CBS' critically well-regarded new 9:30 p.m. series "Worst Week"  (11 million, 3.8/9) lost 21% of its "Men"  lead-in, putting a pothole in CBS' comedy block momentum that otherwise built with each successive show. It was also down 16% from the time period last year. Still, the relatively sluggish "Week" did little to hurt the 10 p.m premiere of "CSI: Miami" (16.9 million, 5.1/12), which was nonetheless up 11% from last season.

Overall, this premiere week kickoff marks a very impressive night for CBS that should give some hope (or sleepless nights) to rivals wondering if 2008-09 is inherently going to be lower than last year because of increased DVR penetration and the ongoing rise of cable.

In second place, ABC premiered a two-hour "Dancing With the Stars" (21.1 million, 5.3/13), which was down only 9% from last year and was the night's most-watched show. In fact, this was ABC's most-viewed premiere week Monday since 1999. The 10 p.m. return of "Boston Legal" (9.4 million, 2.5/6) matched last season's bow to place last in the hour. 

Fox placed fourth, with "Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles" (5.8 million, 2.2/6) the lowest-rated show among the major broadcasters, growing a tenth from last week, followed by "Prison Break" (5.9 million, 2.5/6).

The premiere week competition hit the CW, whose  fourth week of "Gossip Girl" (3.4 million, 1.6/4) took a rough knock, down 20% from last week (but down only 9% in its target W18-34 demo). "One Tree Hill" also declined (3.1 million, 1.5/3) down 17%.


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference 'Heroes' returns lower; CBS wins Monday :

Sign up for The Live Feed daily email newsletter:

If you wish to only receive the morning ratings, get the Hollywood Reporter's ratings alert.
Follow us on Twitter;
Subscribe using RSS.
New: The Live Feed mobile-friendly version.
Get headlines delivered to your Google or Yahoo homepage:
 Add to Google Reader or Homepage

Ain't It Cool News - Coaxial
Deadline Hollywood Daily
Drudge Report
Fark: Showbiz
Hollywood Reporter
Hollywood Wiretap
Huffington Post
Just Jared
Lisa de Moraes
Michael Ausiello
NY Post: Vulture
Perez Hilton
Pop Candy
Reality Blurred
Television Without Pity
The Futon Critic
The Wrap
THR BLOGS: Heat Vision Blog
THR BLOGS: Hollywood Reporter Pilot Log
THR BLOGS: Risky Business
Tim Goodman: The Bastard Machine
Time's Tuned In
TV Barn
TV by the Numbers
TV Decoder
TV Squad
TV Tattle
TV Tracker
Warming Glow

The Hollywood Reporter is Your Complete Film Resource

The columnists and bloggers who write for The Hollywood Reporter have their collective finger on the pulse of the boxoffice. From Martin Grove and the rest, THR columnists deliver their thoughts on the film industry in an uncompromised style. Subscribe to THR today and get the latest views from these film experts and get the latest movie reviews as well.