“Two and a Half Men” declined yet again in the ratings, in the third outing of its new season starring Ashton Kutcher.
But the drop-off in viewership was considerable less than the previous week, when the star-crossed series lost 8 million viewers off its widely anticipated premiere a week earlier.
This week’s results could mean that audience levels for the sitcom — now in its ninth season and its first without Charlie Sheen — might be leveling off to viewership figures that are close to what this series can realistically expect to attract week by week, going forward.
For the half-hour of 9-9:30 p.m. (8-8:30c), “Two and a Half Men” averaged 17.281 million viewers in the Nielsen overnights — a decline of 2.75 million off the overnights at week ago. (Overnight ratings for the previous evening come out the next morning; so-called national ratings come out later in the day, by which time the “Men” audience could climb a little bit, as happens often.)
“Men” was nevertheless the highest-rated single show Monday night on CBS or any other network. CBS averaged 12.359 million viewers on the night to finish in second place behind ABC.
Elsewhere in the Monday overnights:
ABC won the night with an average viewership of 14.859 million from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. (7-10c) — 16.496 million from 8 to 10 (7-9) for “Dancing with the Stars” and 11.585 million for “Castle” at 10/9c.
Fox’s new sci-fi series “Terra Nova” lost about 600,000 viewers in its second week, averaging 8.309 million viewers from 8 to 9 (7-8c) Monday night. The season premiere of “House” drew 9.767 million viewers at 9/8c.
NBC lagged far behind the others Monday night with a three-hour, prime-time average of 4.379 million, due to “The Sing-Off” (4.876 million from 8 to 10, 7-9c) and “The Playboy Club,” which skidded to a mere 3.385 million viewers at 10/9c. As reported elsewhere here, “The Playboy Club” then became the first cancellation casualty of the new network TV season. It was yanked on Tuesday morning.