Nellie Andreeva

UPDATE 1 PM: As they normally do, CBS’ HIMYM (3.3/9) and Two and a Half Men (4.4/11) each went up .1 in the finals. Good news for Mike & Molly — it also added .1, pulling even with last week’s delivery. Also even with last week is Fox’s House after a .1 bump in the finals. ABC’s Castle (2.5/7) went down .2 with the Dance overrun taken out.

Viewers must have settled into their viewing habits for the fall because one could play “Spot the Difference” with last night’s fast nationals and the ones from last Monday — that’s how close they were. Facing similar competition to last week: football on ESPN and baseball on TBS — broadcast series mostly hung tough after posting across-the-board ratings drops last week, with CBS the only network that saw declines for freshman series last night (albeit pretty modest). That despite the fact that overall TV usage last night was down 2% from last Monday.

On NBC, soon-to-be-picked up for a full season Chuck (1.9/5) as well as just-renewed The Event (2.2/5) were both flat with last week, while Chase (1.6/4), which also nears a back-nine order, was up a tenth. Fox saw little impact from the network’s blackout in some 3 million Cablevision homes, with House (3.5/10) down a tenth and Lie to Me (2.0/5) up a tenth from last week. ABC’s Dancing with the Stars (3.9/10) was also down a tenth, while Castle (2.7/7) posted an unusually low fast national number that is often inflated by a Dancing overrun. Last week, Castle posted 3.2/8 before getting adjusted down to a 2.7/7 in the finals.

CBS’ How I Met Your Mother (3.2/9) was down 6% from its fast national number last Monday. (HIMYM and Two and a Half Men always get a boost in the finals, so comparison to their fast national results is more accurate.) By that measure, Men (4.3/11) matched its fast national rating from last week. Freshman Mike & Molly (3.4/8) as well as veteran Rules of Engagement (2.9/8) were both down a tenth, while Hawaii Five-0‘s (2.9/8) 6% drop was a bit more worrisome. (Though the show is a big gainer in DVR viewing.) Hawaii Five-0 still won the 10 PM hour but it hit a new low as did Mike & Molly. (CBS’ returning series posted season lows.)

TV Editor Nellie Andreeva - tip her here.