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Uh-Oh, Are Dancing With the Stars' Dancers Not Bad Enough?

DANCING WITH THE STARS, DWTS, Melissa Gilbert, Martina Navratilova, Gavin DeGraw ABC/ADAM TAYLOR

Gladys Knight has some moves. Jaleel White has a lot of moves. And even after a conk to the head, Melissa Gilbert has "blooming artistry."

It could be said the latest edition of Dancing With the Stars has been blessed with talent.

It could also be said it's been cursed to be without Kate Gosselin or Bristol Palin.

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While continuing to dominate Monday as the night's most-watched show, and hold its own against NCIS: Los Angeles on Tuesdays, the ratings for this season's much-praised DWTS are down significantly from the trainwreck editions that featured Gosselin and Palin. 

By week six of those two DWTS cycles, spring 2010 and fall 2010, respectively, the show was drawing more than 20 million viewers for its performance episodes. Last night, the show's sixth week kicked off before about 17 million.

But there's probably more at work here than the current season's lack of polarizing personalities and debateably talented dancers.

For one thing, this is the first spring DWTS and The Voice have gone head-to-head—both shows are a little bruised as a result. For another thing, DWTS is coming off a weak fall edition that was no slouch in the lightning-rod department (see: Chaz Bono). And for a third thing, the season's biggest-ever Nielsen season, last spring's Hines Ward-crowning run, didn't have a Gosselin or a Palin in the bunch.

Also, Gosselin's talent for the ballroom, or lack thereof, isn't all that debatable

Elsewhere, here's a look at some of the other TV ratings winners—and losers, per the just-released broadcast and cable rankings: 

The Voice (10.1 million estimated viewers): Last night's show was back up over the 10 million mark, and just plain back up for the first time in weeks.

Smash (6.1 million estimated viewers): Bollywood saves. 

Revenge (7.7 million viewers): Its spring return wasn't its biggest performance, but it was big enough to take its 10 p.m., Wednesday time slot.

Grey's Anatomy (9.8 million viewers): It hasn't lost its touch, even up against Touch (7.3 million viewers); it scored its largest audience in more than two months. 

Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23 (6.4 million viewers): A Top 20 finish among young adults who know very well how to fill in the blanks.

Fox 25th Anniversary Special (4.3 million viewers): If you missed it, then at least you're only a YouTube click away from Barry Manilow wishing ABC a happy 25th.

Veep (1.7 million viewers): Yes, Julia Louis-Dreyfus is twice as old as Girls' Lena Dunham, and, yes, her HBO audience is twice as big.

Here's a complete look at the top 10 most-watched broadcast shows, per the latest Nielsen rankings:

  1. NCIS, 18.1 million viewers
  2. American Idol (Wednesday), 16.9 million viewers
  3. Dancing With the Stars (Monday), 16.6 million viewers
  4. American Idol (Thursday), 15 million viewers
  5. Dancing With the Stars (Tuesday), 14.2 million viewers
  6. 60 Minutes, 13 million viewers
  7. Castle, 11.23 million viewers
  8. Two and a Half Men, 11.2 million viewers
  9. NCIS: Los Angeles (rerun), 11.1 million viewers
  10. The Good Wife, 10.4 million viewers

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