Jason Mesnick on The Bachelorette

ABC/CRAIG SJODIN

Reality TV's Big Winner: The Bachelor. In the midst of its biggest season since spring 2004, the dating show on Monday night scored a new season high in viewers (12.5 million, per Nielsen estimates), and its biggest audience for a non-finale in more than five years.

About the Only People Immune to Jason Mesnick's Charms: Under-age dudes. Last night's episode pulled a paltry 1.0 rating among totally unimpressed males 12-17 who don't watch much TV anywhere, anyhow.

Reality TV's Big Eh: The Amazing Race's premiere.

Was It Bad? No. Judged against its Sunday competition, in fact, the performance was good. The Emmy-winner won its 8 p.m. time slot in total viewers (9.3 million) and 18-49-year-olds. Judged against its recent history, the performance was flat—down from both last fall's premiere (10 million) and last season's average (10.5 million).

Speaking of Bad…: This would be where Heroes gets mentioned. Last night's episode averaged just 7.7 million viewers, which would be a great turnout if Heroes were called Chuck (6.8 million).

Misery Loves Company: Heroes was powerless to stop The Bachelor from winning over the 18-49 demo. Make that, it was just as powerless as 24 to stop The Bachelor. Heroes and 24 tied for second in the demo at 9 p.m., which sounds sorta impressive until you realize Two and a Half Men was in a rerun.

Etc.: Unlike Heroes, 24 (11.2 million) was up from last week. House (14 million) was down from its last new episode, but was Monday's No. 1 show in viewers and the demo. On Sunday, Desperate Housewives (13.9 million) outdrew everything, except its more-glorious ratings past, while Brothers & Sisters (9.1 million) won its time slot.

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