A new gunslinger has entered the Monday night ratings showdown: David Spade.
Giving Monday-night titans Heroes and 24 a run for their money was CBS' new sitcom Rules of Engagement, which stars Spade along with Bianca Kajlich, Oliver Hudson, and Patrick Warburton. Rules stormed the 9:30 spot with a 5.2 rating and 14.9 million viewers, according to Nielsen overnights.
As usual, NBC's Heroes dominated the 9 p.m. time slot with a 6.4 in the 18 to 49 demographic and 14.6 million viewers.
Fox's 9 o'clock warrior 24 took in a third place 5.0 rating and 13.6 million viewers overall, marking a season low for the Kiefer Sutherland drama. This season of 24 has concentrated less on breakneck action and more on arduous torture scenes, which may have led to some viewer shrinkage.
CBS' entire Monday night comedy block was up, probably due to hype during Sunday's Super Bowl. How I Met Your Mother, The Class, and Two and a Half Men all either met or exceeded season-best ratings.
At 8 p.m., NBC took a 5.0 for the bald briefcase juggernaut that is Deal or No Deal, Fox scored a 4.1 for Prison Break, and CBS earned a combined 3.8 average for How I Met Your Mother and The Class. ABC snagged a 3.5 for Wife Swap, and CW took a combined 1.1 for Everybody Hates Chris and All of Us.
At 9 p.m., Heroes scored a 6.4 for NBC. CBS earned a combined 5.5 for Two Men and Rules, and Fox landed a 5.0 for 24. ABC took a 3.8 for Supernanny, and the CW swiped a combined 1.2 average for Girlfriends and The Game.
At 10 p.m., CBS and CSI: Miami earned a 5.7 rating, NBC took a 3.2 for Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, and ABC earned a 2.6 for the tabloid special In Style Celebrity Weddings.
Overall, CBS scored a 5.0 rating/12 share in 18- to 49-year-olds, with 14.9 million viewers; NBC, 4.8/12, 13.0 million; Fox, 4.6/11, 11.9 million; ABC, 3.3/8, 8.0 million; CW, 1.2/3, 2.8 million.