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No Dino-Mite Showing for 'Terra Nova'

Pricey Fox drama gets off to an iffy start

Stephen Lang as Commander Nathaniel Taylor on Terra Nova | Photo: Brook Rushton/FOX

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Fox’s multimillion-dollar epic Terra Nova got off to a somewhat shaky start Monday night, finishing third in its time slot and falling well shy of a 4.0 adults 18-49 rating.

The two-hour premiere of the Jason O’Mara time-travel drama averaged a 3.1 rating and an 8 share in the demo, while drawing 9.22 million viewers, per Nielsen live-plus-same-day data.

At 8 p.m., Terra Nova fell shy of the year-ago delivery for the season seven premiere of House, which drew 10.5 million viewers and a 4.1/11 in the demo. And while the new series did improve on last season’s 9 p.m. Lone Star debut—the prime-time soap was dead on arrival, drawing 4.1 million viewers and a 1.3/3 in the demo—expectations for Terra Nova were much higher than what the early numbers will bear out.

Unfortunately for Fox, Monday night is proving to be a bear. CBS’ comedy lineup started strong, as How I Met Your Mother drew 10.5 million viewers and a 4.5/12, while the second installment of 2 Broke Girls served up 11.8 million viewers and a 4.6/12. (While Girls declined 37 percent in the demo versus its 7.0/16 premiere, the series opener lead out of the refurbished Two and a Half Men, which bowed to a 10.3/24 on Sept. 19.)

In its second week, the aforementioned Men had 20.5 million viewers and a 7.4/17 in the demo, making it the night’s most watched and top-rated program. At 9:30 p.m., Mike & Molly returned for its second season, drawing 13.9 million viewers and a 4.8/11.

Terra Nova also faced some stiff competition in ABC’s Dancing With the Stars. The two-hour competition averaged 16.2 million viewers and a series-low 3.3 rating/8 share among the 18-49 set.

Also fighting for share in the 8-10 p.m. block, NBC’s The Sing-Off delivered just 4.45 million viewers and a series-low 1.7/4 in the demo. On the night, NBC finished behind Univision in the demo, averaging a 1.5/4 to the Spanish-language network’s 1.7/4.

Meanwhile, at 9 p.m., The CW bowed its fourth new series of 2011-12 in Hart of Dixie. The Rachel Bilson vehicle drew 1.88 million viewers and notched a 0.8 rating/2 share in the 18-49 demo. Hart improved on its Gossip Girl lead-in by 37 percent.

The Playboy Club was the big story at 10 p.m., as NBC’s period drama is beginning to look like it won’t linger past Columbus Day. The second installment of Playboy drew just 3.97 million viewers and a 1.3/3 in the demo, down from an already disappointing 5.15 million viewers and a 1.6/4 in its debut.

After last week’s poor showing, a raft of sponsors defected from the Club, including Kraft, Sprint and Subway.