The new season of ABC's "Dancing With the Stars" opened with lower ratings Monday night than in seasons past, according to early numbers from Nielsen.
The opener for the show's 18th cycle -- featuring a cadre of contestants including former "Full House" actress Candace Cameron Bure, "Real Housewives of Atlanta" star NeNe Leakes and comedian Drew Carey -- delivered 15 million viewers on average and scored a rating of 2.5 among the key demographic of 18-to-49-year-olds.
In the advertiser-coveted young adult age group, that's down about 20% from its spring kickoff a year ago and ties its lowest premiere, matching the number for the opener for the fall 2012 season. Monday night's episode and the fall 2012 premiere faced heavy competition from NBC's "The Voice."
"DWTS" was still the most-watched telecast of the night, outdrawing "The Voice" by about 1.7 million viewers. The drama "Castle" drew 9.9 million overall and a 1.8 in the young-adult demo, up 13% from its last original episode.
NBC won in 18-49 with "The Voice," which garnered a 4.0 in the demographic, up 8% from a week ago, while "Blacklist" with James Spader rose slightly to a 2.8.
"How I Met Your Mother," which is coming to the end of its nine-season run, led off CBS' comedy lineup with a strong 2.9 in 18-49 and 7.9 million viewers overall. Following on CBS, "Two Broke Girls" declined week-to-week in 18-49 to a 2.6 and "Mike & Molly" was flat at a 1.8. "Mom" slipped a bit to a 1.8 and "Intelligence" earned a low 1.1.
On Fox, "Bones" fell 18% against the heavy competition (1.4), and Kevin Bacon's "The Following" dipped a 10th of a point to a 1.5.
The Monday night debut of the CW's "Tomorrow People" averaged 1.15 million viewers in its new time slot, improving the network's ratings in that time period but decreased from the last Wednesday episode. "Star-Crossed" was up slightly week-to-week with about 1 million people watching.
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