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your tv ratings explained

Your TV Ratings Explained: Hopes Fade for Lone Star

Tuned In You really like your campy celebs, don't you, America? Dancing With the Stars, despite (or is it because of?) the absence of the Hoff, once again dominated Monday with more than 21 million viewers. CBS's comedy block also rocked once more: How I Met Your Mother actually upticked in viewers under 50, while Two and a Half Men was pretty steady at 9. That helped newcomer Mike & Molly do fine in its second week, dipping just a tad and still holding on to about 80 percent of its lead-in. In the ten o'clock hour, Hawaii Five-O dipped a little more than 10 percent, which isn't awful but doesn't show signs of big momentum, either. Doesn't help that 5-O time-slot rival Castle is getting a huge boost from DWTS: Early numbers have the ABC crime drama edging the CBS newcomer in overall viewers, though some of that could be spillover from DWTS, which runs until 10:01 p.m. Still: The race is tight.

Tuned Out
It's a Florida Evans moment for fans of quality TV: Lone Star drew just 3.7 million viewers, down from last week's disastrous 4.1 million debut. Worse, it averaged a 1.0 in adults 18-49, down 23 percent from last week. There's scant hope for the show now. (It didn't help, by the way, that House continues to sag, dropping to third place in its first half-hour). Meanwhile, The Event proved to be less of one for NBC: The much-hyped mystery thriller sank nearly 20 percent versus last week, averaging about 9 million viewers and a 2.9 with adults under 50. That's not the end of the world, particularly if yet-to-be-released DVR data shows people are recording the show for later viewing. But the bad news for NBC is that Event dropped despite having virtually no competition from Fox; if the latter network can get back into the game in any meaningful way, that could hurt the Peacock's newbie. Also having a tough night: Chuck, which notched a 1.9 demo rating and now seems very likely to be in its final season.

Crunching the Numbers
Viewers, as they often do this time of year, seem to be retreating to their happy place after having sampled some of the exotic new fare the networks served up during premiere week. The strong numbers for HIMYM, Two and a Half Men, DWTS, and Castle are signs that viewers right now are most happy devouring the comfort food of shows that have been around a bit. Still, it's worth repeating that these numbers don't reflect the increasing numbers of folks watching shows on a time-delayed basis. One of our network spies tells us that DVR viewership over the weekend was "huge," as audiences rushed to catch up on the programs they'd recorded during premiere week. While the Lone Star numbers are so bad that even DVR data might not make a difference at this point, for shows like 5-0, there could be significant sampling going on that current Nielsen data isn't reflecting. Premiere week DVR data is expected sometime early next month.

Photo: Bill Matlock/FOX