Due to the impact of Hurricane Sandy – power outages, pre-emptions, blah, blah, blah --  ratings for all broadcast TV network programming for Monday, October 29, 2012 will be labeled as “breakouts” and tossed out of those programs season averages, Nielsen informed clients Tuesday afternoon.

This is too bad for ABC. Monday’s “Dancing with the Stars” and “Castle” lifted the network to its biggest overall audience for the night so far this season.

Despite massive power outages in the hurricane’s path – at least 8 million homes, according to one press account -- “DWTS” clocked its biggest audience so far this season: 14 million viewers.

 And “Castle” logged its second biggest average this season: 11 million viewers.

 In Washington, hurricane-weary viewers seemed relieved to have available ABC’s escapist lineup Monday night.

 WJLA, offering “Dancing” and “Castle,” clocked nearly 280,000 viewers in primetime, beating hurricane coverage on WRC (221,000), WTTG (95,000), and WUSA (110,000).

 After primetime, at 11 p.m., WRC’s hurricane-focused newscast bested all competitors, with an average of 240,000 tuned in.