“Sunday Night Football” and the finale of “America’s Got Talent” carried NBC to a comfortable primetime ratings victory in the week leading into the start of the new television season.
The Peacock used “Talent” to funnel auds to new comedy “Up All Night,” which had a special preview before shifting to its regular timeslot this week. Also, CW rolled out three new series, with both “Ringer” and “The Secret Circle” performing well relative to lead-in.
Overall for the Sept. 12-18 frame, according to Nielsen, NBC cruised among adults 18-49 with a 2.8 rating/8 share, followed by ABC, CBS and ESPN (all at 1.7/5) and then Fox and Univision (both at 1.6/5). The Peacock also ruled the ratings roost in both adults 25-54 (3.3/8) and total viewers (8.2 million).
Football telecasts claimed the week’s top three spots in 18-49, with NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” game between the Atlanta Falcons and Philadelphia Eagles (10.0/25, 23.42m) easily the top draw — and once again ahead of the same week last year.
ESPN also did well with its “Monday Night Football” doubleheader (6.3/17 in 18-49, 14.57m for New England-Miami and 5.4/16, 11.11m for Oakland-Denver).
Outside of sports, the week’s best demo score came from Fox’s telecast of “The Primetime Emmy Awards” on Sunday (4.2/11 in 18-49, 12.44m), which was up 2% vs. last year in 18-49 despite an 8% downtick in total viewers. Host Jane Lynch of “Glee” seemed to bring over lots of the young females who watch the series, as the kudocast’s rating in femmes 12-34 was up 13% vs. last year (4.4 vs. 3.9) to a five-year high.
Among series, the performance finale of “America’s Got Talent” (3.8/11, 13.67m) tied with MTV’s “Jersey Shore” (3.8/11, 6.97m) as tops among adults 18-49, with “Talent’s” Wednesday finale drawing the most total viewers of any nonsports program for the week (14.37 million).
Airing after “Talent,” the preview of “Up All Night” at 10:30 p.m. did a strong 3.7/10 in 18-49 (the top show of the night) and 10.95 million viewers overall before it moves to 8 o’clock this week. And the results were also encouraging on Thursday when a repeat of the Christina Applegate-Will Arnett comedy did a 1.0 rating coming out of a 0.6 for an encore of “Community.”
CW launched its midweek nights with mixed success, as “90210” remains a modest performer on Tuesday (0.9/3 in 18-49, 1.61m), but Sarah Michelle Gellar drama “Ringer” grew from that lead-in in its preem (1.2/3, 2.84m).
Wednesday was a struggle, with reality show “H8R” opening slowly (0.6/2, 1.29m), and vet “America’s Next Top Model” continued its decline in its return (0.9/2, 1.96m).
Thursday looks to again be the net’s top night, with “The Vampire Diaries” (1.5/5, 3.10m) and newcomer “The Secret Circle” (1.3/3, 3.05m) very compatible. “Secret” retained 86% of “Vampire’s” lead-in among females 12-34 (1.9 vs. 2.2).Also last week, CBS kicked off the 23rd edition of “Survivor” (3.4/10, 10.74m), down 15% from last year, and “Big Brother” wrapped its season (2.9/8, 7.78m) on par with last year. For the summer, though, “Brother” had its best showing since 2004.