When Ashton Kutcher was named to replace Charlie Sheen on Two and a Half Men , he remarked that it was like winning the lottery. It now appears that the producers of the show and CBS have struck it rich as well, as the season debut of the show with Kutcher ranked No. 1 in the Nielsen ratings for the week, with a whopping 28.74 million viewers. (The series' second episode with Kutcher is also likely to top the ratings for this week; see separate item.) The win helped CBS retain its title as the most-watched network among total adults as well as 25-54-year-old viewers. But, helped by the series debut of The X Factor , Fox continued to hold sway as the most-watched among adults 18-49. The first week of the new season for the evening newscasts, showed the three rivals lined up in the same order that they have appeared for years. NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams topped the list with 7.97 million viewers. ABC World News followed with 7.27 million viewers, and the CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley placed third with 5.82 million. All three newscasts showed growth from last season, with the CBS newscast rising the most -- 11 percent from last year, when it was anchored by Katie Couric. The ABC newscast was up 3.7 percent and NBC's 1.5 percent. Overall, CBS finished the week with a 7.6 household rating and a 12 share. ABC was second with a 6.4/10. Fox placed third with a 4.9/8, while NBC trailed with a 4.7/8.
The top ten shows of the week according to Nielsen Research 1. Two and a Half Men, CBS, 16.7/24; 2. Dancing With The Stars (Monday), ABC, 12.3/18; 3. Sunday Night Football, NBC, 12.2/19; 3. NCIS , CBS, 12.2/19; 5. 2 Broke Girls , CBS, 11.5/16; 6. NCIS Los Angeles, CBS, 10.3/15; 7. Dancing with the Stars (Tuesday), ABC, 9.8/15; 8. Sunday Night NFL Pre-Kickoff, NBC, 9.3/15; 9. Unforgettable, CBS, 9.0/15; 10. The Big Bang Theory (8 30 p.m.), CBS, 8.8/14; 10. Criminal Minds , CBS, 8.8/13.