'Dancing with the Stars' sixth season debuts big, wins night for ABC
By Christopher Rocchio, 03/18/2008
Dancing with the Stars waltzed all over the competition with its sixth-season premiere broadcast on ABC, winning its time period in all key measurements and ranking as Monday night's most-watched program.
Dancing with the Stars' 90-minute sixth-season premiere broadcast in the 8PM ET/PT time period averaged 20.9 million total viewers and a 5.5/15 rating/share in the Adults 18-49 demographic, according to Nielsen Media Research's Fast Affiliate Live Plus Same Day ratings.
Despite facing stiff competition from original programming on NBC (My Dad's Better than Your Dad and Deal or No Deal), Fox (Canterbury's Law and New Amsterdam) and CBS (the post-writers strike return of new episodes of The Big Bang Theory, How I Met Your Mother and Two and a Half Men) -- ABC's Dancing with the Stars sixth-season debut qualified as Monday night's No. 1 program in average total viewers and among Adults 18-34, Adults 18-49 and Adults 25-54.
Dancing with the Stars sixth-season premiere outdrew its nearest competition -- CBS -- by an average of 9.9 million total viewers (20.9 million vs. 11.0 million) and by 22% in the Adults 18-49 demographic (5.5/15 rating/share vs. 4.5/12 rating/share). Dancing with the Stars also won each of its three half-hour time slots.
In addition, Dancing with the Stars generated ABC's largest audience among Adults 18-49 in the Mondays at 8PM ET/PT time period since last November when the network aired a fifth-season performance episode broadcast featuring the Top 4 couples. Dancing with the Stars sixth-season debut also generated ABC's highest rating in the time slot among Adults 18-34 since last March, which was a fourth-season performance episode broadcast.
Dancing with the Stars sixth-season premiere was on par with the show's fifth-season debut last fall, which averaged 21.2 million total viewers and a 5.8/15 Adults 18-49 rating/share -- numbers that also ranked it first in its time period.
With Dancing with the Stars serving as its lead in, The Bachelor: London Calling's 90-minute premiere at 9:30PM ET/PT averaged 9.0 million total viewers and a 3.3/9 rating/share in the Adults 18-49 demographic.
The two shows combined powered ABC to the No. 1 network ranking on Monday night in both average total viewers (14.9 million vs. CBS' 10.6 million) and the Adults 18-49 demographic (4.4/12 rating/share vs. CBS' 3.9/10 rating/share).