The return of "House" after nearly two months and the new J.J. Abrams drama "Alcatraz" pushed Fox to the top of the ratings heap Monday night, according to preliminary numbers.
At 8 p.m., Fox's "House" received a 3.1 rating/8 share in the 18-49 demographic — a 19 percent boost over its last original airing on Nov. 28. The episode drew 8.7 million total viewers. "Alcatraz" the following hour was down slightly from last week's premiere, grabbing a 3.0/7 in the demo and 8.9 million total viewers. The network was the best-rated in the demo and most watched overall, averaging a 3.0/8 and 8.8 million total viewers.
Fox barely edged out ABC for the most-watched network. "The Bachelor" at 8 had a 2.7/7 in the demo and had 8.2 million total viewers, and was up 13 percent in the ratings. "Castle," at 10 had a 2.1/5 and 10 million total viewers. ABC averaged 8.8 million total viewers throughout the night. Besides being the second most-watched network, it was the second highest-rated in the demo.
Airing reruns all night, CBS was the third highest-rated in the demo and third most-watched. It scored an average 2.2/6 in the demo and 7.7 million total viewers.
NBC was in fourth in ratings and viewrs. "Who's Still Standing" at 8 was up slightly from two weeks ago, receiving a 1.7/4 in the demo and 6.4 million total viewers. Coverage of the Republican presidential debate in Florida, which was moderated by "Rock Center" anchor Brian Williams, ran from 9 to 11 and drew a 1.6/4 in the demo and 7.1 million total viewers.
At the CW, "Gossip Girl" at 8 posted a 17 percent gain in the demo with a 0.7/2, and 1.6 million total viewers. "Hart of Dixie," returning at 9 p.m. after a seven-week hiatus, also posted a 0.7/2 and received 1.6 million total viewers. (Those numbers are likely to be revised, due to pre-emption in Chicago for a Chicago Bulls game.)