'Futurama' ratings down from preem

Fox is off to a slow start with its all-animation Tuesday lineup, slipping below the net’s season-to-date average for that night despite the arrival of “Futurama” and a “Family Guy” special.

NBC’s “Everything’s Relative,” meanwhile, stumbled with its Tuesday premiere, falling a discouraging 20% below its 18-49 lead-in from “Just Shoot Me.”

At 8:30, Fox’s “Futurama” showed promise within Fox’s diminished Tuesday expectations, but failed to approach the hit numbers of its two Sunday previews. The new Matt Groening creation hovered at a fourth-place 5.7 rating, 10 share in households and a third-place 4.0/12 in adults 18-49, building by 18% on its 18-49 lead-in from “King of the Hill” (4.7/8 in homes, its lowest firstrun result ever, and 3.4/11 in adults 18-49).

“Futurama’s” slot predecessor, “The PJs,” started there with a 23% gain vs. its “King” lead-in and has averaged a 9% build overall on nights with both “PJs” and “King” in firstrun.

The first Tuesday “Futurama” 18-49 rating (4.0) declined by 52% vs. the show’s 8.3 average with its two Sunday previews. Such a falloff was nearly certain, since Fox is consistently weaker on Tuesdays than Sundays, and general viewership levels are usually down on Tuesdays as well. The onset of daylight savings time also limited April 6 viewership, relative to season-to-date averages.

Still, it’s a disappointment that Fox’s first Tuesday try with four animation comedies settled for a nightlong 3.7 rating in adults 18-49. That’s down 8% from the season-long 4.0 Fox has averaged on regular-sked Tuesdays (and down 12% vs. its 4.2 on all-firstrun Tuesdays). Compared with the same night last year, though, Fox was up a rousing 38% from the 2.9 of “The Money Train.”

NBC late-season rookie “Everything’s Relative” (7.7/12 in homes, 5.3/14) stumbled out of the gate Tuesday, winning its slot in adults 18-49 but holding just 80% of its lead-in from “Just Shoot Me” (9.5/15 in homes, 6.6/18 in adults 18-49).

Earlier this season, NBC canned “Working” after it averaged that same 80% retention in the half-hour. “Relative’s” slot predecessor, “Will & Grace,” is now headed to Thursdays after averaging a 97% retention with its last five tries following firstrun episodes of “Shoot.”

ABC won the night, as “The Hughleys” (7.8/13 in homes, 4.7/14 in adults 18-49) earned that series’ biggest build on its 18-49 lead-in from “Home Improvement” (7%) since premiere week. At 10 p.m., though, “NYPD Blue” (9.6/16 in homes, 5.7/16 in adults 18-49) skidded to its lowest-ever firstrun homes rating.

The first Tuesday try for “Futurama” won its half-hour in all key male demographics as well as adults 18-34 and teens. In adults 18-34, “Futurama” snagged a 5.2/17, up 24% vs. Fox’s season-average of a 4.2/12.

Fox’s “The PJs” shifted to 9 p.m. and earned a 5.2/8 in homes and a 3.8/10 in adults 18-49, down from its firstrun averages in the 8:30-9 p.m. slot (6.3/10 and 4.7/12 respectively). “PJs” did manage a 13% increase vs. Fox’s regular-fare slot average in adults 18-34 (5.1 vs. 4.5).

At 9:30, a rerun of the “Family Guy” pilot that ran after the Super Bowl got tackled for a 5.3/9 in homes and a 3.7/10 in adults 18-49, which reps, as expected, big losses vs. “Guy’s” Super Sunday results (12.6/21 in homes, 11.5/28 in adults 18-49). Despite the drop, “Family Guy” retained a strong 97% of its 18-49 lead-in from “PJs.” The Seth MacFarlane-created comedy starts its run as a Sunday regular this weekend.

CBS finished just 1 share out of first for the night in homes, despite an all rerun lineup of “JAG” (8.1/14 in homes, 2.9/9 in adults 18-49) and the vidpic “Something Borrowed, Something Blue” (8.0/13 in homes, 2.8/8 in adults 18-49).

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