Net's 'Vegas' does OK in bow; Fox's comedy block soft

None of the three shows debuting on Tuesday generated a whole lot of sparks, with CBS taking the night in key demos behind its potent “NCIS” combo. The premiere of the net’s “Vegas” won its timeslot but was unspectacular.

It was pretty slow going, meanwhile, for Fox’s young comedy block. Among newbies, “The Mindy Project” opened OK relative to lead-in, but not so much for “Ben & Kate.” And the return of second-year anchor “New Girl” wasn’t strong enough to prop up the night.

NBC was again improved, as “The Voice” has boosted its early-week fortunes and is providing the net with its best possible lead-in for new shows. The Peacock was the only net up in key demos vs. the opening Tuesday of last year.

Looking at the Nielsen numbers, CBS vet “NCIS” (4.1 rating/12 share in adults 18-49, 20.48 million viewers overall) kicked off its 10th season as Tuesday’s No. 1 scripted show in 18-49 and TV’s top dog in both adults 25-54 (5.7/15) and total viewers. And lead-out “NCIS: Los Angeles” won its timeslot as well (3.4/9, 16.74m); both shows were down just slightly from their year-ago bows and drew their second largest premiere-night auds to date.

And closing the night was a timeslot-winning performance by new Dennis Quaid-Michael Chiklis drama “Vegas” (2.5/7 in 18-49, 14.85m), though it was down 14% in 18-49 (2.5 vs. 2.9) and 17% in 25-54 (3.5 vs. 4.2) from last year’s timeslot debut for “Unforgettable.” Because it did so well among adults 55-plus, though, its total-viewer count exceeded last year’s “Unforgettable” for the net’s largest audience for a Tuesday 10 p.m. drama premiere since “Judging Amy” in 2002.

Elsewhere, NBC ran second thanks to “The Voice” (4.2/13 in 18-49, 11.57m), which declined by 11% from last week when it faced much lighter competition. The music contest’s blind auditions seg was the night’s No. 1 show in 18-49 (edging out “NCIS”).

The new half-hours that followed, “Go On” (2.7/7 in 18-49, 6.92m) and “The New Normal” (2.0/5, 5.09m), were down in their third weeks, which isn’t a surprise given the increased competition. “Go On,” opposite established Fox comedy “New Girl,” was down by 21% while “Normal” was off by 9%.

“Go On” finished within a tick of Fox’s “New Girl” (2.8/8 in 18-49, 5.18m) in the 9 o’clock half-hour, with both lagging “NCIS: L.A.”

“New Girl” was down sharply from its year-ago preem (4.8/12 in 18-49), when it followed the stronger “Glee,” and was more in line with its same-night average from last spring. It was followed by “The Mindy Project” (2.4/6 in 18-49, 4.67m), which retained 86% of its “New Girl” lead-in and beat out NBC’s competing comedy “The New Normal.”

In the opening hour, a special original episode of “New Girl” (2.8/9, 5.35m) performed similarly to its regular-slot premiere, placing third in 18-49. But in between the two “New Girl” segs, newcomer “Ben & Kate” sagged (2.1/6 in 18-49, 4.21m); beginning next week, it will get a lead-in from the returning “Raising Hope.”Fox did win the night among adults 18-34 (2.8/9) but will need to expand that audience if it hopes to compete in the broader 18-49 demo.

ABC had a pretty quiet night, as “Dancing With the Stars” (2.1/6 in 18-49, 11.79m from 8 to 10 p.m.) was down 16% from its two hours on the opening Tuesday a year ago. And at 10, the season premiere of “Private Practice” (1.9/5 in 18-49, 6.46m) was down 14% from last year’s “Body of Proof” opener in the timeslot (and well off from Thursday bow of last fall).

“Private Practice” edged out the season’s third episode of NBC’s “Parenthood” (1.8/5 in 18-49, 4.89m), which was flat week to week and down 14% from the year-ago week. Both returnees, though, trailed FX’s “Sons of Anarchy” (2.1/6, 3.80m), as it held up well in its third week back and won the hour in men 18-49 (2.5/7).

Compared to last year’s opening Tuesday, NBC was up 22% in 18-49 while CBS dropped by 6%, ABC slid by 17% and Fox tumbled by 37%.

CBS showed growth in total viewers vs. last year and easily led the night by that meaure.

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