Primetime Ratings: Marie Osmond Falls, Dancing with the Stars Doesn’t

ABC won Monday night in the 18-49 demo with a 4.6 rating/11 share thanks to Dancing with the Stars, which averaged a 5.3/14 for a show that saw Marie Osmond faint on live TV -- a moment that scared host Tom Bergeron and left the audience uncomfortably silent. (After cutting to a long commercial break, Osmond was pronounced fine and shown dazed but gamely waiting for her scores before exiting for the balance of the show.)

ABC continues to score with ballroom dancing against CBS' strongest sitcom and NBC's Heroes, with Dancing up from its 4.6/12 average the week before, an upward climb in a generally downward trend for primetime shows.

CBS was second in the demo for the night with a 4.1/10, led by Two and a Half Men at a 4.8/11 from 9 p.m.-9:30 p.m. for second behind the last half-hour of Dancing. The top-rated sitcom of the night was ABC's new Samantha Who, which held onto much of its Dancing lead-in for a 4.6/10 from 9:30 p.m.-10 p.m.

NBC was third with a 3.4/8. Its top show was Heroes at a 4.9/12 from 9 p.m.-10 p.m., but that was down from last week's 5.1/12. NBC pointed out that the show did improve from its first half-hour to its second (5.2/12 from a 4.6/11).

Fox was third with a 2.5/6, topped by Prison Break (3/8), although its fortunes will likely pick up starting Tuesday night with House, then the beginning of its World Series coverage.

The CW was fifth with a 1/2, led by Girlfriends (1.2/3) from 9:30 p.m.-10 p.m.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.