Ward boosts local ratings for 'Dancing With the Stars'

| Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward's debut Monday night on ABC's "Dancing With the Stars" was the highest-rated show in the greater Pittsburgh area, which drew the top ratings out of all 56 metered markets.

DWTS drew a 29.2 household rating locally, more than doubling its average local rating and ranking first among adult men and women, as well as the age 18-to-49 and 25-to-54 demographics. The show was watched by 338,800 people in the Pittsburgh market.

The next highest-rated show locally was "Castle," which followed DWTS on ABC and drew an 11.9 rating.

Nationally, DWTS had a 15.3 rating and drew 22.3 million viewers, making it the most watched show on television Monday.

The Season 12 premiere of the ballroom dance contest was a big hit locally with senior citizens. The show drew a 34.5 rating with viewers 65 years and older, 21.2 with viewers 35 to 64 years old, 19.0 with women 25 to 54 years old and 9.9 with men 25 to 54.

Ward and partner Kym Johnson scored 21 points (out of 30) for their performance of the cha-cha, which drew rave reviews from the judges and left the duo in third place behind actors Ralph Macchio (24 points) and Kirstie Alley (23).

One person who did not watch the show was Steelers coach Mike Tomlin, who was dining at the NFL owners meetings in New Orleans while the show aired.

"I got a few texts last night, and that's the only reason I knew it was on. I think everybody was pretty encouraged about his performance," Tomlin said. "They said he did a nice job, but that doesn't surprise me. This guy's a competitor."

When asked if Ward could win the competition, Tomlin responded: "Man, I wouldn't count Hines out of anything. If there was a brain surgery competition, I'm sure he'd educate himself and compete."

Tomlin also was asked whether he would like to see Ward compete through the May finale. NFL players are being locked out by owners, so Ward is not missing any team functions.

"Sure, as long as it doesn't conflict with what I've got going on," Tomlin said. "At this point, it doesn't look like it's going to conflict with what I've got going on."

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