Despite series star Nathan Fillion's April Fool's prank, ABC's "Castle" showed a strong surge Monday night, while a relatively soft performance by the network's "Dancing With the Stars" still took the evening's top numbers, according to preliminary numbers.
"Dancing With the Stars" kicked off ABC's primetime lineup at 8 p.m., drawing a 4.3 rating/12 share in the adults 18-49 demographic, a 7 percent drop from last Monday's episode.
Kicking off the show's first-ever theme week of classical music, which features a 46-piece orchestra backed by violinist David Garrett and mezzo soprano Katherine Jenkins, "Dancing" averaged 20.4 million total viewers, down 4 percent week to week.
"Castle" at 10 p.m., however, posted a 3.1/8 in the demo and 12.6 million total viewers, a 7 percent jump in the key demo and a 9 percent increase in watchers.
With most networks pre-empting original programming last week amid CBS' coverage of the NCCA national mens' basketball championship game, numbers were slightly down across the board
Fox took the second-highest rating of the evening, thanks to a new episode of "House" at 8 p.m. that scored a 3.2/9 demo rating and an average of 8.9 million total viewers, a 6 percent drop in demo and a 4 percent decline in total viewers from its last original episode airing on March 21.
The following hour, Fox's "The Chicago Code" scored a 1.8/5 in the demo and 5.9 million total viewers, viritually flat with its last original episode presentation.
CBS kicked off its evening with an exploding meatball-sub-themed episode of "How I Met Your Mother" at 8 p.m., which garnered a 2.7/8 demo performance (a 7 percent decline since the original episode aired March 21) and an average of 6.8 million total viewers (a 14 percent dip).
"Mad Love" at 8:30 drew a 1.9/5 demo score (down 10 percent), while a "Two and a Half Men" repeat at 9 p.m. drew a 2.0/5 and 7.3 million viewers -- about half of its season average.
At 10 p.m., "Hawaii 5-0" scored a 2.4/6 and 9.1 million viewers, down 17 percent in demo and 6 percent in total viewers.
At NBC, "Chuck" at 8 p.m. had a 1.3/4 in the demo and 4 million total viewers, down from a 1.5/4 in the demo and 4.3 million total viewers. A two-hour "Law & Order: Los Angeles" took a 1.5/4 in the demo and 5.9 million total viewers.