Dancing with the Stars 7 wins its nights but loses millions of viewers over three episodes

The first week of Dancing with the Stars 7 saw the second-most popular reality show in the country debut strong but then lost millions of viewers from night to night.

Monday, the show debuted with 21.34 million viewers and “won its timeslot from 8 to 10 p.m., though it declined by 9% in 18-49 vs. last year’s 90-minute” debut, Variety reports. Still, it helped ABC get its largest number of viewers “on the opening Monday of the season in nine years (since 1999, when ‘Monday Night Football’ was going strong).”

Tuesday night, the show was the highest-rated of the night in overall viewers and among those 18 to 49, but its ratings dropped. In the first hour, 17.87 million watched, and at 10 p.m., 18.52 watched, TV By the Numbers reports.

Wednesday night, for the standard hour-long results show, ratings dropped even further. 15.57 million people watched, down more than 5 million from Monday night. Still, it won the night among total viewers, although just barely over CSI: NY, which beat it among viewers 18 to 49, according to TV By the Numbers.

CBS, ABC top opening night [Variety]
Tuesday, Sept. 23: Second Night Wins To CBS, ABC and Fox and Wednesday, September 24: CBS’s Crime Dramas Overcome ABC’s Dancing [TV By the Numbers]

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about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.