Even as the NBC shows surrounding it looked shaky, new Peacock laffer “The Office” opened to promising results in a special preview episode on a very atypical Thursday night.
“The Office” won its 9:30 slot over Fox’s similarly previewing comedy “Life on a Stick,” even though the latter had a huge advantage from a special lead-in from “American Idol.”
Night also saw more modest results for ABC comedy “Jake in Progress,” but the Alphabet looked better on Saturday with the premiere of limited series “Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House on the Prairie.”
According to nationals from Nielsen, NBC Universal Television Studio’s “The Office” averaged a slot-leading 5.0 rating/13 share in adults 18-49 and 11.23 million viewers overall. It retained a strong 94% of its lead-in from the second half of “The Apprentice” (5.3/13 in 18-49 at 9 o’clock).
“Office” also picked up viewers from Fox, as the net went from a dominant first place at 9 with a special half-hour “American Idol” results show (8.6/22 in 18-49, 20.17 million) to 3 shares out of the lead at 9:30 with “Life on a Stick” (4.0/10 in 18-49, 9.25m).
“The Office,” a remake of the hit British mockumentary series that developed a cult following Stateside, also delivered a 5.7/13 in adults 25-54 and a 4.6/13 in adults 18-34. It moves to its regular Tuesday 9:30 p.m. slot this week.
Its preview Thursday was the lone standout on a sluggish night for the Peacock. Despite facing basketball on CBS (and not its top-rated regular lineup), “Joey” (3.7/11 in 18-49, 8.76m), “The Apprentice” (4.8/13, 10.81m) and “ER” (6.5/17, 15.01m) all were at series lows for original segs.
Fox’s “Life on a Stick,” meanwhile, shifts to Wednesday at 9:30, where it will follow the “Idol” results show that usually airs on that night.
“Idol’s” special Thursday results show last week, the result of a “snafu” with phone lines that delayed voting on the music talent show by one day, produced the net’s best 18-49 rating with entertainment programming in the 9 o’clock slot since an airing of theatrical “Jumanji” in November 1998.
“Idol” also seemed to boost lead-in “The OC” (prelim 3.7/11 in 18-49, 8.59m), which had one of its strongest perfs of the season.
At ABC, “Jake in Progress” slipped week-to-week at 8 (1.8/5 in 18-49, 6.46m) opposite NBC’s “Joey” but then built some at 8:30 (2.4/6, 6.75m) when the Peacock shifted from comedy to “The Apprentice.”
On Saturday, the Wonderful World of Disney presentation of “Little House on the Prairie” on ABC averaged a solid 2.6 rating/8 share in adults 18-49 and 8.2 million viewers overall from 8 to 10. This version of Wilder’s classic books, starring Cameron Bancroft and Erin Cottrell, will continue airing as a limited series on ABC Saturdays at 8 over the next four weeks.
And in ratings news on Wednesday, the series premiere of TV Land’s unscripted skein “Chasing Farrah” averaged 824,000 viewers.