The return of the gross-out reality contest "Fear Factor" on NBC premiered to robust numbers Monday night, while "Two and a Half Men" dipped to a season low but still remained top-rated and led CBS to an overall win for the night, according to preliminary numbers.
NBC's "Fear Factor" at 8 drew a 3.2 rating/8 share in the adults 18-49 demographic — the highest non-Olympics performance in the slot for the network since February 2008 — and had 8.6 million total viewers. A second episode at 9 did even better, scoring a 3.8/8 in the demo and 8.5 million total viewers. "Fear Factor" appears to have given a boost to the ailing "Rock Center With Brian Williams," which jumped 22 percent over last week with a 1.1/3 in the demo and 4 million total viewers.
Even so, NBC's roster was no match for CBS' slate, which saw slight dips across the board but still carried the network to victory. "2 Broke Girls," in a special timeslot at 8, fell 11 percent from last week to a 4.1/11 in the demo — a low for the series — and 12.4 million total viewers. Following a repeat of "2 Broke Girls" at 8:30, "Two and a Half Men" also touched a season low, sliding 10 percent to a 4.6/11 and 14.7 million total viewers (making it both the top-rated and most-watched program of the evening). "Mike & Molly" at 9:30 posted a 3.9/9 in the demo with 12.8 million total viewers, while "Hawaii 5-0" wrapped up the evening at 10, drawing a 2.8/7 in the demo and 10.9 million total viewers. Overall, the network pulled the night's best ratings with an average 3.6/9 in the demo, and the highest total viewership, with an average 12 million.
ABC's night began at 8 with the holiday special "Charlie Brown: I Want a Dog for Christmas," which was down 13 percent from last year's telecast with a 1.4/4 in the demo and 5.2 million total viewers, followed by "You Deserve It" at 9, which slipped 10 percent to a 0.9.2 in the demo and 3.4 million total viewers. A "Castle" repeat finished the night.
Fox aired a new episode of "Terra Nova" at 8, which received a 2.1/6 in the demo and 6.9 million total viewers, followed by a "House" repeat.