'Dancing with the Stars' has a record-setting premiere; 'Castle' high too

pam-anderson-dwts-320.jpgIt's all about the casting: The most talked-about assemblage of "Dancing with the Stars" contestants in a while drove the series to the biggest premiere audience in its history.

The 10th cycle of "Dancing" premiered to an audience of 24.2 million people Monday night (March 22). That's 1.4 million more viewers than the show got for its spring debut last year (22.8 million) and a whopping 6.4 million more than the show's relatively lackluster fall premiere in September (17.8 million).

The show, whose cast this time around includes the likes of Pamela Anderson, Kate Gosselin, Olympic gold medalist Evan Lysacek and NFL star Chad Ochocinco, also matched its best-ever premiere numbers in adults 18-49 with a 6.4 rating.

The big lead-in pushed "Castle" to the best ratings it's recorded in its two seasons on the air. The crime show, which ended Monday's episode on a big cliffhanger, drew 12.2 million viewers and a 3.3 rating in the 18-49 demographic. It also beat an original "CSI: Miami" (10.8 million, 3.2) for the first time ever.

("Castle's" numbers are down a bit from the 12.9 million and 3.6 demo rating reported in the fast nationals because "Dancing with the Stars" ended at 10:02 p.m. and distorted the hourly ratings.)

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Photo credit: ABC
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