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QUICK TAKES

Choosing 'Stars' over 'Heroes'

September 24, 2008|Scott Collins

The fall TV season officially started Monday with good news for CBS' comedies and ABC's "Dancing With the Stars." But NBC may be waking up to the cold reality that its onetime hit, the comic-book-like epic "Heroes," will never be restored to its former luster.

"Dancing," back for its seventh cycle, was the night's most-watched program, with 21.2 million viewers, according to early data from Nielsen Media Research.

After years of effort, CBS is reaping rewards with its sitcom strategy. "How I Met Your Mother" returned for its fourth season up 21% in the 18-to-49 age category compared with last season's opener. "Two and a Half Men" looked solid with 14.9 million viewers.

"Heroes" spent last season dodging brickbats from fans upset by confusing new plot developments; it was then forced into a lengthy interruption by the writers strike. So the show's third season will be critical to assessing its long-term prospects. Monday's premiere sowed doubts, gathering only 9.9 million viewers.

-- Scott Collins

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