On season premiere Monday (8-11 p.m.), ABC (12.7 million) finished as the second-most-watched TV network, leading CBS by 4.4 million viewers (8.3 million) and Fox by 5.1 million viewers (7.6 million).
Growing year-to-year for the second week in a row, ABC's "Dancing with the Stars" (8-10 p.m.) was up over its second telecast last fall (10/1/12) by 1 million viewers (13.4 million vs. 12.4 million) and by 10 percent in Adults 18-49 (2.3/6 vs. 2.1/5). Former NFL player Keyshawn Johnson was the first celebrity dancer to be eliminated from the competition this season.
During the 10 p.m. hour, ABC's season premiere of "Castle" beat CBS' debut of "Hostages" by 4 million viewers (11.5 million vs. 7.5 million), by 22 percent in Adults 18-49 (2.2/6 vs. 1.8/5), and by 16 percent in Adults 25-54 (2.9/7 vs. 2.5/6). "Castle" grew over its year-ago season premiere by 10 percent in Total Viewers and by 5 percent in Adults 18-49 (10.5 million and 2.1/6 on 9/24/12). In addition, the show was up over last season's finale (11.2 million and 2.1/6) in viewers (3 percent) and young adults (5 percent) to deliver its best numbers since April 22. A big gainer via TV playback, "Castle's" numbers shot up last season by 3.6 million viewers and by 50 percent in Adults 18-49 from Live + Same Day to Live + 7 Day.
"Castle" was the No. 1 most-tweeted series at 10 p.m. (60,122 tweets), beating the debuts of NBC's "The Blacklist" (31,086 tweets) and CBS' "Hostages" (10,879 tweets) head-to-head in the hour. This year's premiere of "Castle," which had the cast live tweeting during the episode, was up 104 percent over last season's premiere (29,475 tweets).
A note about increasing DVR penetration and year-to-year rating comparisons: Year-to-year rating comparisons based on the Live + Same Day data stream are distorted by the level of DVR penetration in the Nielsen sample, which has jumped up to 48 percent currently, from 45 percent at the same point in 2012. More viewers are watching shows on their own timetables, which may not be reflected in the overnight next day numbers. The only truly valid year-to-year comparison would be one based on the Live + 7 Day metric, once those stats are released by Nielsen.
Source: The Nielsen Company, Fast Affiliate Live + Same Day Ratings, 9/23/13.