Fox comedy block narrowly wins in 18-49

Fox had mixed results with its first night of a four-comedy Tuesday block, edging ahead of the competition on the night among young adults. Still, even a night of repeat dramas had CBS competitive in 18-49 while the net won easily in its core categories.

According to preliminary national estimates from Nielsen, Fox rested ”Glee” to form a two-hour comedy block, faring best as expected at 9 p.m. with ”New Girl” (3.0/8 in 18-49, 6.0 million viewers overall), which was low but not bad given its soft lead-in from ”I Hate My Teenage Daughter” (1.6/4 in 18-49, 3.8 million viewers overall), a first-year half-hour that aired on four Wednesdays in late fall. Best news for the net had to be the time-period premiere of ”Raising Hope” at 8 (2.1/6 in 18-49, 4.8 million viewers overall), which did about the same as it had been at 9:30 p.m. following ”New Girl.” And closing out the block was ”Breaking In” (1.7/4 in 18-49, 3.6 million viewers overall), the Christian Slater show that aired seven times in spring of last year; it ran third among the broadcasters in 18-49, retaining 57% of its 18-49 lead-in from ”New Girl” and outperforming its final original episode last May (1.3/3 in 18-49).

CBS impressed, tying Fox for the 18-49 lead in their common hours and easily topping the night among adults 25-54 and total viewers. In the opening hour, ”NCIS” (2.4/7 in adults 18-49, 14.4 million viewers overall) won its timeslot with an 18-49 score that was higher than all but two firstrun hours on ABC, NBC and Fox last week. It was followed by ”NCIS: Los Angeles” (1.9/5 in 18-49, 11.9 million viewers overall) and ”Unforgettable” (1.4/4 in 18-49, 8.2 million viewers overall), both of which led their time periods in 25-54.

At NBC, ”The Biggest Loser” hit a low (1.9/5 in 18-49, 5.7 million viewers overall), though the network disrupted its lineup in multiple cities for coverage of Super Tuesday, and some stations aired the weight-loss competition from 9 to 11; it’s expected that ”Loser” should improve a tick or two in the nationals. Also murky was the performance of the NBC News special ”Decision 2012,” which aired at 10 p.m. in much of the country but at 8 p.m. in the West.

ABC aired a repeat ”Last Man Standing” (1.4/4 in 18-49, 5.5 million viewers overall), followed by ”Cougar Town” (1.5/4 in 18-49, 4.4 million viewers overall), which was in line with Fox’s ”Teenage Daughter” in 18-49 at 8:30. Drama ”The River” seems to have found its core audience (1.5/4 in 18-49, 4.2 million viewers overall), holding steady vs. last week, and the night wrapped with a repeat ”Body of Proof” (0.9/2 in 18-49, 4.7 million viewers overall). For the night, ABC had to settle for a fifth-place finish among the broadcasters in 18-49, falling a tick short of fourth-place Univision.

At CW, ”90210” returned with its first original episode in a month (0.7/2 in 18-49, 1.3 million viewers overall), followed by ”Ringer” (0.5/1 in 18-49, 1.2 million viewers overall), which posted its best women 18-34 score (0.8/2) since late November.

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: Fox, 2.1/6; CBS, 1.9/5; NBC, 1.6/4; Univision, 1.4/4; ABC, 1.3/4; CW, 0.6/2.

In total viewers: CBS, 11.5 million; NBC, 4.9 million; ABC, 4.6 million; Fox, 4.5 million; Univision, 3.3 million; CW, 1.3 million.

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