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ABC Mainstay Plummets in Ratings TVbytheNumbers

A series that has performed well in the past for ABC plunged to an all-time low Tuesday night in the key 18-49 demo, based on Nielsen overnights.

TVbytheNumbers.com reports that “Dancing with the Stars” turned in a grim 1.5 average rating in the demo, part of a tough night that saw ABC finish in a tie with Univision for fourth place in prime time among the broadcast networks.

“Dancing” lost 25% from last week, finishing well behind the competition on NBC, CBS and Fox in its 9 p.m. hour. ABC’s sputtering 8 p.m. reality series “Splash” fared even worse, sliding 18% to a series-low 0.9 average in 18-49.

The network did get a 1.7 out of its special “Murder, Mystery: Amanda Knox Speaks” at 10 p.m., improving a modest 6% on what “Body of Proof” delivered in the time slot a week ago -- not enough to lift ABC out of the cellar.

NBC’s two-hour “The Voice” was the top show of the night, even as it hit a season low with a 3.7 average rating in adults 18-49 -- down 10% from a week ago. But the network’s big winner was “Grimm,” which won the 10 p.m. hour with a 2.0 average for its time slot premiere, up 54% from last week and doubling the number turned in by “Ready for Love” in the time slot a week ago.

CBS saw its two “NCIS” shows head in opposite directions. “NCIS” was up 7% from a week ago with a 3.0 average in 18-49, while “NCIS: Los Angeles” fell 19% to a series-low 2.2. CBS’s “Golden Boy” continues to struggle at 10 p.m., equaling its series low with a 1.3 average, off 7% from last week.

Fox’s lineup was down, with “Hell’s Kitchen” shedding 5% of its 18-49 audience from last week to settle for a 1.9. “New Girl” lost 9% from its previous original, delivering a 2.0, while “The Mindy Project” equaled its all-time low with a 1.3, off 13% from its previous original.

NBC won the night by a comfortable margin, averaging a 3.1 rating in adults 18-49 for prime time overall, followed by CBS (2.2 average), Fox (1.8), Univision (1.4) and ABC (1.4). The picture was different in total viewers, with CBS winning the night by averaging 12.8 million, ahead of NBC (9.7 million), ABC (7.8 million), Fox (3.9 million) and Univision (3.4 million).