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‘Dancing,’ Drama Premier Give ABC Rare Tuesday Ratings Victory

Two hours of Dancing with the Stars programming and Body of Proof drawing the second largest audience for any premiere this season made ABC Tuesday night’s most-watched television network, topping usual winner CBS.

ABC averaged 15.4 million viewers for its prime-time programming, its second most for a Tuesday this season, behind only the Nov. 23 fall season finale of Dancing with the Stars, according to live plus same-day figures released today by The Nielsen Co.

The first Dancing with the Stars Results Show of the spring season was the night’s most-watched program, averaging 19.3 million viewers, its most for a season opener.

Body of Proof, which followed, won the 10-11 p.m. time slot by averaging 13.94 million viewers, the second most for a premiere this season, behind only CBS’ Hawaii Five-0.

It was the largest audience for an ABC midseason drama since the March 27, 2005 premiere of Grey’s Anatomy averaged 16.2 million viewers.

Viewership for premieres are often unrepresentative of how a series will fare because of the heavy amount of promotion they receive. Viewers often tune in to sample a show because they are intrigued by its premise, but do not return for subsequent episodes.

Dancing with the Stars: The Story So Far, finished second in the 8-9 p.m. time slot, averaging 12.85 million viewers, ABC’s largest audience in the time slot since Nov. 2.

CBS was second for the night, averaging 14.74 million viewers.

NCIS won the 8-9 p.m. time slot, averaging 18.73 million viewers.

NBC was third, averaging 6.52 million viewers with original episodes of The Biggest Loser and Parenthood.

Fox was fourth, averaging 3.69 million viewers for reruns of Glee and Raising Hope and an original episode of Traffic Light.

The CW was fifth, averaging 710,000 viewers for reruns of One Tree Hill and Hellcats.

ABC also led among viewers ages 18-49, the group it, Fox and NBC target and advertisers pay more for because they watch less television and are harder to reach.

ABC was also first among viewers ages 2-11, 12-17 and 18-34. CBS had a narrow victory among viewers 50 and older, a group it has long dominated.

ABC, CBS and NBC all aired three hours of prime-time programming and The CW and Fox two hours each.

Copyright © 2011 City News Service

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