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'Terra Nova' is no match for Ashton Kutcher in ratings

September 27, 2011 |  9:55 am

Ashton Kutcher ate the dinosaurs.

Fox's dinosaur epic "Terra Nova" got off to a decent if unspectacular start Monday night, proving no match for CBS' "Two and a Half Men," which remained strong in week two with new costar Kutcher. 

The heavily publicized two-hour premiere of "Terra Nova," the long-anticipated time-travel drama from executive producer Steven Spielberg and already one of the most expensive series in TV history, averaged 9 million total viewers, according to Nielsen.

In the Monday timeslot, that was much better than last year's critically acclaimed bomb "Lone Star" (4 million) but a bit down from the premiere of last season's "House."

In the adults aged 18 to 49 demographic, Fox averaged a solid if not thrilling 3.0 rating/7 share, good for third place overall on the night. Last week's "Hell's Kitchen" finale averaged a 2.6 rating.

If "Terra Nova" underperformed relative to its hype, "Two and a Half Men" continued to surprise. The sitcom delivered 20 million total viewers -- nowhere near last week's record-breaking 28.7 million premiere, but still enormous and far and away the evening's most-watched program.

Analysts expect "Men" to settle down around the 12.7 million viewers it averaged last season, the final, shortened one for the since-fired Charlie Sheen. But at the rate things are going, it may take a while to get there. Much to the dismay of Fox and other rivals.


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-- Scott Collins

Photo: Alana Mansour, left, Shelley Conn and Jason O'Mara in Fox's "Terra Nova." Credit: Brook Rushton / Fox