Ratings: ‘Alcatraz’ Locks Up Rock-Solid Debut

J.J. Abrams thriller gives Fox its best drama debut in three years; CBS still wins night with “Two and a Half Men”

J.J. Abrams' latest offering, "Alcatraz," was off to a good start Monday night, posting encouraging numbers with its two-hour premiere. But "Two and a Half Men" predictably took the night's top ratings slot, according to preliminary numbers.

The "Alcatraz" premiere, airing from 8 to 10 p.m., posted a 3.3 rating/8 share in the adults 18-49 demographic — a 38 percent jump from the network's mid-season premiere of Chicago Code" a year ago, and the highest-rated drama debut for Fox since "Lie to Me" in January 2009 — and 10 million total viewers.

The "Alcatraz" premiere pushed Fox to second place in the ratings for the night, but CBS won the Monday night overall — as it almost always does. At 8, "How I Met Your Mother" climbed 13 percent from its last original airing two weeks ago, taking a 4.4/11 in the demo and 10.1 million total viewers. "2 Broke Girls" at 8:30 was flat compared to two weeks ago, posting a 4.5/11 and 11.2 million total viewers. At 9, "Two and a Half Men" grabbed the brass ring with a 4.6/10 in the demo and 12.8 million total viewers, while "Mike & Molly" at 9:30 received a 3.8/9 in the demo and 11.1 million total viewers. The night closed for the network with "Hawaii 5-0" at 10, which received a 2.8/7 and 10.5 million total viewers. Overall the network averaged a 3.8/9 in the demo and 11 million total viewers.

On NBC, "Betty White's 90th Birthday: A Tribute to America's Golden Girl" from 8 to 9:30 gave the network the night's largest audience, 13.8 million total viewers. It had a 2.7/7 in the demo. A preview airing of "Betty White's Off Their Rockers" followed, landing a 2.6/6 in the demo and 12.2 million total viewers. The two-hour block of White-related programming appeared to give "Rock Center With Brian Williams" a boost — the news program, airing at 10, enjoyed an 86 percent leap in the demo with a 1.3/3 and 5.5 million total viewers.

ABC aired "The Bachelor" at 8, which drew a 2.4/8 in the demo and 7.3 million total viewers, followed by 'Castle" at 10, which posted a 2.3/6 in the demo and 9.4 million total viewers.