Dancing With the Stars Ratings Hold Steady

Posted on March 10, 2009

Dancing With the Stars was a ratings hit for ABC last night.
One week after the rejuvenated "The Bachelor" franchise wrapped its highest-rated season in years, the net's "Dancing With the Stars" -- with an assist from "The Bachelor" -- opened surprisingly well.

Now in its eighth edition and lacking any real big-name stars this time around, "Dancing" nonetheless bowed with its second best premiere demo rating to date (6.1 rating/15 share in 18-49) while drawing its largest overall aud for a premiere (22.83 million), according to Nielsen.

Though Fox's "American Idol" draws stronger demo ratings than "Dancing," the hoofing hit's overall premiere aud wasn't too far behind what "Idol" averaged last week. And excluding the Oscars, it's the Alphabet's most-watched telecast in 16 months.

Interest in "Dancing" may have been heightened due to late cast changes, as auds were curious to see who would replace Jewel and Nancy O'Dell, both of whom were sidelined with dancing-prep injuries. In a bit of casting genius, "Dancing" was able to recruit recently jilted "Bachelor" contestant Melissa Rycroft as a substitute.
Reality TV continues to be a money maker for ABC.

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