The results are in and we have a winner: This season has been the most-watched-ever for Dancing With the Stars.
Through Monday, Season 12 of ABC's dance contest had averaged 22.5 million total viewers, up 4 percent compared with the 11th season, according to the Nielsen Co. The show ranks No. 2 behind American Idol.
That's a little surprising because Dancing With the Stars, which crowned NFL star Hines Ward and his partner, Kym Johnson, as winners in Tuesday's finale, has always been viewed as dependent on casting for ratings. This year, the program has had to do without the tabloid stars, such as Bristol Palin and Kate Gosselin.
A couple of competitive factors may have helped ABC this time around. CBS has run repeats of Two and a Half Men since mid-February, which has enabled rivals to snatch some viewers. The same holds for Fox's move of American Idol off Tuesday nights this season.