Nellie Andreeva

First, the good news. In its premiere last night, midseason Fox drama The Chicago Code (2.4/6 in 18-49, 9.4 million) did far better than the network’s other new drama this season, Lone Star, did in its debut in the same Monday 9 PM slot during premiere week (1.3/3, 4.1 million). But, with the most watched telecast of all time, Sunday night’s Super Bowl on Fox, as a promotional platform, Chicago Code should’ve done better, especially with its lead-in, House (4.3/12, 12.3) getting a post-Super Bowl bump. The medical drama was up 16% in the demo from its last original 2 weeks ago and hit season highs in 18-49 and total viewers. Chicago Code‘s retention in total viewers was OK, 76%, but in 18-49, it was 56%. Still, with House climbing and Chicago Code replacing the softly-rated Lie to Me, Fox posted its highest-rated Monday night this season.

CBS’ lineup was on par with its last originals on Jan. 17, with most series down a tenth. Two and a Half Men (4.4/11, 15.1 million) was the top program of the the night in 18-49 and total viewers with the first of 2 unaired episodes of the show, which is on hiatus while star Charlie Sheen is undergoing treatment. How I Met Your Mother (3.8/11, 10.1 million) was down 5%, Rules of Engagement (3.2/8, 9.5 million) was down 3%, Mike & Molly (3.6/9, 12.7 million) down 3% and Hawaii Five-0 (2.8/8, 10.9 million) also down 3%.

Hawaii won the race at 10 PM, which featured all-original competition  for the first time in over a month. ABC’s Castle (2.5/7, up 4% vs. Jan. 24; 9.3 million) was second, with NBC’s Harry’s Law (1.7/5, 9.1 million) a distant third, down 19% from last week. This was the first time the new David E. Kelley drama faced originals on ABC and CBS after several promising performances against lighter competition in the hour. Harry’s Law was not helped by its lead-in, The Cape, (1.3/3, 4.6 million), which was down 13% for a series low. With a lead-in that was a third of what Mike & Molly and The Bachelor delivered for its competition, Harry’s Law did what it could and actually went up a tenth from the first to the second half-hour, the only 10 PM show to do so.  At 8 PM, NBC Chuck (1.7/5) was even with its series low last week. With 1.7 as the highest demo rating for NBC, the network needs to shake things up on Mondays and try Harry’s Law with a better lead-in. NBC finished a distant fourth for the night with an average of a 1.6/4 in 18-49 and 6.4 million viewers.

ABC’s The Bachelor (3.1/8) was down a tenth from last week to give ABC its highest-rated Monday since November. CBS won the night in 18-49 (3.5/9) and total viewers (11.5 million).

TV Editor Nellie Andreeva - tip her here.

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