NBC Back in Fourth After Games, But Up at 10 p.m.

The Olympics high fades fast as “The Bachelor” and CBS comedies dominate Monday’s ratings

Last Updated: March 2, 2010 @ 9:25 AM

NBC had little post-Olympics glow Monday as CBS’s comedies and ABC’s "The Bachelor" dominated the ratings.

In the sure-to-be-closely-watch 10 p.m. timeslot vacated by Jay Leno, the Peacock did manage to post nice gains. But opposite atypical competition, there was no dramatic boost for NBC.

The second hour of a two-hour "Law & Order" averaged a 2.1/6 at 10 p.m., ranking third behind CBS’s "CSI: Miami" (3.4/9) and ABC’s "The Bachelor: After the Final Rose" (5.4/14). That’s up 31 percent from "The Jay Leno Show’s" Monday average — nice, but given how much more "L&O" costs to produce, NBC will be hoping for bigger numbers in weeks to come.

Earlier in the night, "The Bachelor" (5.2/13) ended its season with a finale on par with last March’s sign-off. The overall story for "Bachelor" was positive: This cycle was the show’s biggest overall audience since fall 2003.

Over at CBS, "How I Met Your Mother" (3.9/11) was up 3 percent from its last original at the start of February, while "Rules of Engagement" (3.5/9) quietly premiered 10 percent below last season’s March premiere (but a tad higher than "Accidentally on Purpose"). "Two and a Half Men" (5.7/14) didn’t get a Charlie Sheen bounce (did anyone really expect it to?), while "The Big Bang Theory" (5.9/14) rocked on.

Fox avoided the traffic on the other networks by airing a "House" repeat, which resulted in "24" (2.5/6) sinking 11 percent below last week. It was the lowest-rated "24" ever and comes just as Fox is deciding whether or not to renew the show for another season.

Finally, NBC started off Monday with a mini post-Olympics halo: Its 2.4/6 in the demo was up 8 percent from its last original episode before the Games began. This, even though Charles didn’t get much promo love from the Peacock during the Olympics.

"Law & Order" did a 2.0/5 from 9-11 p.m.