Christmas came early for ABC. The network’s one-two punch of Shrek the Halls and Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Chirstmas dominated the 8 p.m.-9 p.m. hour on Monday night, with 11.2 million and 11.7 million viewers, respectively, according to preliminary overnight ratings. Unfortunately, that’s where the good cheer ends. Without its Dancing With the Stars lead-in, Samantha Who? tumbled in the ratings with back to back episodes. For the 9 p.m.-10 p.m. hour, the Christina Applegate comedy averaged only 6.8 million viewers, a steep decline from last week’s 11.9 million viewers. At 10 p.m., Boston Legal dipped by about 300k viewers from last week, to a fine 8.4 million.
NBC had some good news, as well, or at least the folks at Chuck did. The action-comedy reached 7.3 million viewers, a nice 9 percent boost from the previous week. Heroes was almost exactly in line with last week’s numbers with about 8 million fans while the canceled My Own Worst Enemy continued to underperform with 4.1 million viewers.
Fox’s action-oriented lineup appeared to benefit from the absence of Dancing With the Stars. Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles rebounded to 5.9 million, a 1.3 million increase from last week, while Prison Break grew by 500k to 5.8 million.
The CW’s Gossip Girl returned after a week off with a new episode that reached 3.1 million, in line with GG’s usual ratings. Moving from Tuesday nights, the struggling Privileged seemed to be a better fit with with GG, as evidenced its 2.2 million viewers, a 600k boost from its last original episode.
Finally, CBS’s entire lineup was reruns – and yet the network still managed to finish the night No. 1 in total viewers. The two-hour comedy block of Big Bang Theory (8 million), How I Met Your Mother (8 million), Two and a Half Men (13.7 million), and Worst Week (7.9 million), performed solidly — especially Men — despite the repeats. Same goes for CSI: Miami at 10 p.m. with 11 million.