It almost feels like Premiere Week Monday, with the Big 4 networks finally all returning to originals after a winter hiatus. In its debut, David E. Kelley’s latest legal drama, NBC’s Harry’s Law (2.1/6 in 18-49. 11 million) did a respectable business for a 10 PM drama these days, especially with a lead (Kathy Bates) whose age is way over the broadcasters’ target 18-49 demo. Harry’s Law won the 10 PM hour in total viewers with NBC’s largest average in the time slot this year and finished second in 18-49 to CBS’ Hawaii Five-O (2.9/8, 10.6 million) whose star Alex O’Loughlin is 28 years Bates’ junior. But Harry’s Law will have a tougher time next week after facing less competition in its debut with ABC’s Castle (1.4/4, 5.7 million) airing a rerun. And it ranked as NBC’s lowest-rated in-season premiere in the Monday 10 PM time period, down slightly from Chase‘s 2.3 premiere rating in the slot in September.
Still, Harry’s Law was NBC’s highest-rated program of the night in both viewers and 18-49. In its second airing, fellow midseason drama The Cape (1.8/4, 6.2 million) was down 31% from its two-hour premiere on Sunday, Jan. 9. At 8 PM, Chuck (2.0/5, 5.9 million) was even with its last original on Nov. 29 and matched its season high in 18-49. NBC finished fourth for the night with a 2.0/5 in 18-49 and 7.7 million viewers.
CBS’ Monday lineup logged a dominating nightly win in 18-49, with all 4 of its comedies hitting season highs in viewers (for freshman Mike & Molly, it was also a series high.) Flagship Two and a Half Men (4.6/11, 15.6 million) was the highest-rated program on Monday night by a mile. It didn’t get much of a demo ratings boost from all the publicity surrounding star Charlie Sheen. The veteran comedy currently runs a tenth behind the sitcom’s last original on Jan. 3 and may pull even in the finals. The rest of CBS’ Monday series were also on par with their Jan. 3 originals, How I Met Your Mother (3.9/10, flat, 10.5 million), Rules of Engagement (3.2/8, down 6%, 9.8 million), Mike & Molly (3.8/9, up 3%, 13 million) and Hawaii Five-O (2.9/8, 10.6 million, flat).
Fox’s House (3.6/9, 10.6 million) was up 6% in the demo vs. its most recent original almost 2 months ago, on Nov. 22, and topped the 8 PM hour in viewers and 18-49. With a new House as a lead-in, Lie to Me (1.8/4) was up 20% in the demo from last week but still held onto only half of House‘s demo rating. Fox (2.7/7, 8.3 million) finished second for the night in viewers and 18-49.
TV Editor Nellie Andreeva - tip her here.