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'Dancing With the Stars' has lowest premiere, but wins night

March 20, 2012 | 11:28 am

Monday’s premiere of “Dancing With the Stars” brought in impressive scores for the couples — no one landed under a 20! But when it came to viewership, below 20 was what it got: opening modestly to below 18.5-million viewers — an all-time low for the show but still enough to win the night in overall audience.

The veteran hoofer returned for its 14th season and nabbed a 3.5 rating in the adult demo, down more than 30% from last spring but less than half that from last fall. (And it was able to help 10 p.m.’s “Castle” climb 14% from its Feb. 27 episode with 16.3 million, 2.4.)  

“DWTS” was up against NBC’s “The Voice,” which brought in 11.8 million — down 13% from the previous week but still earning in a whopping 4.5 rating. “Smash” saw a smaller dip from the previous week, down 4% with 6.7 million, 2.3.

"Dancing With the Stars" opens to modest ratings

And the “Two and a Half Men” experiment with Ashton Kutcher continues to hold its own in the reality fray, bringing in 11.3-million viewers but earning a 3.8 in the 18-to-49 demo. It served as a tentpole for the network’s programming with the 8 to 9 p.m. comedies — “How I Met Your Mother” (8.2, 3.4), “2 Broke Girls” (9.2 million, 3.4) — steadily rising before things took a dip with “Mike & Molly” (9.8 million, 3.2) and a steady showing for 10 p.m. drama “Hawaii Five-0 (9.1 million, 2.5).

Over on Fox, retiring drama “House” dipped 17% (5.8 million, 2.0) while rookie drama “Alcatraz” saw another slip, bringing in 5.1 million, 1.5.

RELATED:

'The Voice' recap: The battle rounds, Part 3

'Dancing With the Stars' recap: Stepping out in style

 — Yvonne Villarreal

twitter.com/villarrealy

Photo: Jaleel White and partner Kym Johnson wowed the judges with their moves on the premiere of "Dancing With the Stars." Credit: ABC

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