Dancing with the Stars 5 averaged 21.2 million total viewers and a 5.8/15 Adults 18-49 rating/share during its 8-9:30PM ET/PT broadcast -- numbers that easily ranked it first in the overall 8-9:30PM time period, according to Live Plus Same Day ratings data from Nielsen Media Research. (However, although it beat NBC's 9-10PM ET/PT season premiere broadcast of Heroes by nearly eight million total viewers during their 9-9:30 overlap period, Heroes actually slightly edged Dancing among Adults 18-49 during the head-to-head period.)
Dancing with the Stars 5's debut outperformed the Fall 2006 third-season premiere of the reality dancing competition series -- which aired on a Tuesday night with a two-hour premiere -- in both average total viewers (21.2 million vs. 20.2 million) as well as among Adults 18-49 (5.8/15 rating/share vs. 5.7/15 rating/share).
Combined with ratings for The Bachelor's eleventh-season premiere broadcast (9:30-11PM), Dancing with the Stars 5's debut numbers left ABC ranked as the No. 1 network on the opening Monday night of the Fall 2007 primetime programming season with an average of 15.4 million total viewers as well as a 4.7/12 rating/share among Adults 18-49.