Monday's ratings recap:
* 8 pm/ET
Dancing with the Stars dipped 6 percent from its season opener, yet of course dominated the night with an audience of 21.08 million total viewers. Placing second in the hour was House and its very cool "Death Cat," which warmed up to 12.8 million viewers (up 670K).
In third, both CBS' The Big Bang Theory (9.76 mil, +300K) and How I Met Your Mother (9.22 mil, up 9 percent) both enjoyed gains. Gossip Girl was welcomed back from its eternity-like absence by 2.24 mil, which was on par with its most recent (and near-season low) audience.
* 9 pm
CBS' Two and a Half Men (14.02 million viewers) and Rules of Engagement (11.4 mil, up 10 percent) placed second behind DWTS, while 24 held steady with 11.34 mil. One Tree Hill (2.27 mil) dropped 330 thou.
* 10 pm
CSI: Miami dipped 840K but still bested ABC's Castle, 13.35 million to 11.48 million viewers. Castle matched its premiere audience, but again suffered significant tune-out - minus 18 percent - over the course of the hour.