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Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Mon., Sept. 21) -- big doings on first night of new season

Heavy hitters clashed throughout the night Monday, leaving NBC's The Jay Leno Show bleeding by the roadside in the first true test of its staying power.

ABC's two-hour launch of Dancing with the Stars' ninth edition led the way with a robust 425,152 D-FW viewers from 7 to 9 p.m.

But it was a different tune among advertiser-craved 18-to-49-year-olds. Dancing fell to second in the first hour (behind Fox's season premiere of House) and sunk to third from 8 to 9 p.m., where CBS' relaunch of Two and a Half Men was the top draw in the first half-hour before House returned to the winners' circle from 8:30 to 9 p.m. ahead of CBS' runnerup Big Bang Theory.

All but ignored was NBC's now all but dead Heroes, whose two-hour return ran a very distant fourth in both measurements among the Big Four broadcast networks.

The 9 p.m. Nielsens were paced by the return of CBS' CSI: Miami, which drew 385,294 total viewers while also winning easily with 18-to-49-year-olds.

Fox4's 9 p.m. local newscast, enjoying a boost from the bad weather, ran second in both measurements while ABC's Castle took the bronze. That left Leno in tatters. Absent a potent lead-in and competing against all first-run programming for the first time, he drew just 126,217 total viewers and only 42,136 in the 18-to-49 range.

Later Monday, President Obama's appearance on Late Show with David Letterman had 205,933 total viewers, with 90,754 within the 18-to-49 bullseye. In both cases that overwhelmed NBC's Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien, which had 59,787 total viewers and 29,171 in the 18-to-49 age range.

In local news derby results, CBS11 re-entered the winners circle at 10 p.m. by beating runnerup WFAA8 in both total viewers and 25-to-54-year-olds, the main advertiser target audience for news programming. Absent much of a lead-in from Leno, NBC5 fell to fourth in both measurements after enjoying Monday and Wednesday wins last week.

The Peacock took the 6 a.m. competitions, though, with Fox4 in second on the debut day of new co-anchor Lauren Przybyl.

WFAA8 won at 6 p.m. in total viewers while NBC5 topped the 25-to-54 ratings. Fox4 ran the table at 5 p.m.

At 5:30 p.m., the launch of The 33's local newscast drew 19,929 total viewers compared to 139,503 for the top dog NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams.

But The 33 scored a moral victory among 25-to-54-year-olds, where it tied the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric and MY27's Everybody Loves Raymond for fifth place. And among 18-to-49-year-olds, The 33 beat both the Evening News and ABC's World News with Charles Gibson. Not bad for starters.

As previously posted, the station's 5:30 p.m. news features daily entertainment reports from former Fox4 Good Day anchor Megan Henderson, who's now with KTLA-TV in Los Angeles. The 33 has dubbed them the "Megan Minute." Both stations are owned by Tribune Broadcasting. Hence the handy synergy.