"Two and a Half Men" scores staggering audience numbers for CBS

Men men men men, manly men men men! (l-r) Angus T. Jones, Ashton Kutcher and Jon Cryer star in TWO AND A HALF MEN on the CBS Television Network. Photo: Matt Hoyle/CBS / Warner Brothers ©2011 CBS BROADCASTING INC. All Rights Reserved.
From left, Angus T. Jones, Ashton Kutcher and Jon Cryer in "Two and a Half Men."
Matt Hoyle/CBS

LOS ANGELES (CBS) Ashton Kutcher's debut on "Two and a Half Men" Monday drew a stunning 27.7 million viewers for CBS. It is a record for the show.

Pictures: New season on CBS
Pictures: New season on NBC
Pictures: New season on ABC

According to Reuters, the show also had 10.3 million viewers in the prized-by-advertisers 18-49 demographic. That's what a typical new episode of the sitcom drew in total audience, across all demograhics, last year.

Those numbers came in spite of steep competition. ABC's two-hour season premiere of "Dancing with the Stars" averaged 18.6 million for the night, strong enough to put that network on top for the night's total viewership.

The "Men" audience gave a good lead-in to "2 Broke Girls," the new CBS sitcom that followed it. "Girls" drew an audience of 19.2 million.

NBC's drama,"The Playboy Club,"drew barely 5 million viewers. It followed a two-hour "The Sing-Off," which had a 5.2 million average.

By comparison, this year's Oscars broadcast, down in the ratings from the previous year, drew 37.6 million viewers and the Super Bowl, which set a viewership record this year, had 111 million viewers.