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Faster tempo for 'Dancing With Stars'

Dancing with the Stars
Many scoffed when they heard the premise of ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars,” which pairs professional dancers with C-list celebrities so obscure they may as well be unlisted.Not any more. After a strong debut last week, ABC's "Dancing With the Stars" improved in its second episode last night, according to Nielsen overnights.

"Stars" averaged a 4.7 rating among viewers 18-49, a 9.3 percent increase over the 4.3 the show earned for its premiere last week.

Among total viewers, the 9 p.m. show jumped 10.2 percent week-to-week last night, from 13.48 million to 14.86 million. The 13.48 million was the biggest summer reality show debut since "Survivor" five years ago.

Last night’s episode saw its first couple eliminated, the team anchored by former “Bachelorette” Trista Sutter. Apparently her experience as a dancer for the NBA’s Miami Heat didn’t translate to the ballroom.

The remaining "Stars" include Evander Holyfield, model Rachel Hunter, "Seinfeld's" John O'Hurley and former New Kid on the Block Joey McIntyre.

If there's any lesson in this success for the networks, it's that people enjoy good-natured if cheesy entertainment in the slow summer months. "Stars" seems aware of its celebrities' less-than-A-list nature, but instead of humiliating them for it, the show smiles right along.

It's becoming increasingly clear, however, that what audiences are not in the mood for is a heavy scripted drama. Fox's “The Inside” premiered against "Stars" at 9 p.m. last night, and it averaged just a 2.0 rating among 18-49s and 4.71 million total viewers.

“Stars” was easily the night’s highest-rated show among 18-49s, leading ABC to first place for the night in the demo with a 3.2 average rating and a 10 share. CBS came in second at 2.4/7, NBC third at 2.1/6, Fox fourth at 2.0/6, the WB fifth at 1.4/4 and UPN sixth at 0.7/2.

ABC led at 8 p.m. with a 2.3 average rating for a repeat of “Supernanny.” Fox was second that hour with a 2.1 average for repeats of “That ‘70s Show” (2.4) and “Stacked” (1.8), and CBS third with a 1.9 for “60 Minutes II.”

The WB's new reality show “Beauty and the Geek” did well in its second week at 8. Last night’s episode averaged 3.54 million total viewers, an 11.7 percent increase over last week’s 3.17 million. It also raised its 18-49 rating from a 1.6 to a 1.7.

At 9 p.m. ABC led with its 4.7 average for “Stars,” which included a 5.0 during the 9:30 half hour. CBS came in second that hour, averaging a 2.4 rating for repeats of “King of Queens” (2.5) and “Yes, Dear” (2.2). Fox’s 2.0 for “The Inside” was good tied for third with NBC, which aired a repeat of “Law & Order” in the timeslot.

CBS took the lead at 10 p.m. with a 2.9 average for a “CSI: NY” rerun. ABC was second with a 2.7 for a repeat of “Lost” and NBC third with a 2.6 for another hour of “L&O.”

Among households, ABC led the night with a 6.5 average rating and an 11 share. NBC finished second at 5.7/10, CBS third at 5.5/10, Fox fourth at 3.0/5, the WB fifth at 2.0/3 and UPN sixth at 1.2/2.

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