Adam Larkey/ABC
Lynette Rice
March 22, 2011 AT 04:22 PM EDT

More than 22 million people tuned into see the karate kid and a girl from “next door” on Monday’s Dancing with the Stars, according to preliminary ratings. The premiere of the 12th season, which featured Ralph Macchio and Kendra Wilkinson, averaged a 5.1 rating/15 share in adults 18-49 — down 20% from last spring’s start on March 22 but still enough to help ABC win the night in viewers (19 million) and most demos, including persons 2-11 and persons 12-34. The kids came to the show! Should some credit go to Disney star Chelsea Kane?

Thanks to the swell lead in, Castle (3.3/9, 12.7 million) was up 18% from its last original on Feb. 28 — but we’d like to think our cover story helped and got more of you interested. Last night’s results could change when the finals come in this afternoon, so it will be interesting to see if Dancing ends up averaging more than American Idol. Last week, the Fox competition show averaged 22.5 million on Wednesday and 19.5 million on Thursday. Stay tuned.

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