'The Bachelor' Premiere Ratings Plummet

'The Bachelor' Premiere Ratings Plummet While probably not a sign that Panic-Button Time has arrived, ABC just can't be thrilled about how "The Bachelor" went over with viewers this past Monday.

The reality-love-in-prime-time competition show's 16th season - featuring jilted "The Bachelorette" runner-up Ben Flajnik - fell 13 percent from last year's rating and landed 7.74 million viewers Monday night. That was good enough for a 2.4 rating among that prized 18-49 year old demographic. That rating was a 17 percent slip from a year ago.

Elsewhere, it was CBS that actually won the post-New Year's Monday race. The network took the 9 PM ET/PT hour with "Two and a Half Men" pulling 10.22 million viewers and a 3.9 rating that made it Monday night's most-watched show, as well as "Mike & Molly" pulling in 11.93 million sets of eyes and earning a 3.8.

The network's numbers were also great for the 8 PM ET/PT hour, with "How I Met Your Mother" getting 10.22 million viewers and a 3.9 to carry the hour, followed by "2 Broke Girls" getting 12.05 million and a 4.6.

Over on ABC, one midseason substitute showed it might not be a number-for-number replacement, but it might do in the interim. "Celebrity Wife Swap" - which should garner Emmy nomination in the category "Show Title Most Resembling Fan-Fiction Porn" - sucked in 6.3 million people with its 10 PM ET/PT sneak peek, which was good for a 2.4. Yahoo! calls that number "well shy" of the usual "Castle" rating for the same hour this season. To be fair, though, "Castle" was always in a prime spot following "Dancing With The Stars."

Still up in the air due to the always-later tallying of basic cable ratings will be how ESPN's Rose Bowl and Fiesta Bowl coverage ultimately drew away from the usual prime-time network fare. Both games were extremely close and high-scoring, so that could've made either a priority over something most people could catch in a day or two on Hulu, iTunes, or here on Yidio of course.

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