'Smash,' 'GCB' on rise; Fox, CBS lead week

It’s been tough for new 10 p.m. broadcast dramas to gain much traction in recent years, but a pair of first-year midseason entries, NBC’s “Smash” and ABC’s “GCB,” improved their standing last week by posting gains.

The Peacock skein took advantage of repeat competish, spiking 17% to win its hour, according to Nielsen, while the Alphabet’s dramedy led its hour among young adults as well, edging up 5% from its premiere.

But while these newbies perked up, NBC’s 10 p.m. Thursday drama “Awake” wasn’t as fortunate, falling 20% from its bow. Barring a rally, it could join ABC’s “Pan Am” and NBC’s “The Playboy Club,” “Prime Suspect” and “The Firm” as 10 p.m. newcomers that have been pulled, demoted or simply ended their runs unceremoniously due to low ratings.

The bar for success in the 10 o’clock hour has lowered of late — any show that consistently tops a 2 rating in 18-49 figures to return for another season — but ABC’s “Revenge” is the only 10 p.m. rookie to consistently clear the mark. CBS’ “Unforgettable” is doing OK on Tuesdays but has been hovering around the 2 demo mark in recent weeks.

Overall in a week of scattered repeats on the competition, Fox rode three hours of “American Idol” to victory in adults 18-49 with a 2.4 rating/7 share. It was followed by CBS (2.0/6), NBC (1.8/5), ABC (1.6/5), Univision (1.3/4) and top cabler TBS (0.9/2).

CBS caught Fox for the lead in adults 25-54 (both at 2.8/7), and the Eye dominated in total viewers (9.5 million to about 7 million for runner-up Fox.)

For Fox, the Wednesday edition of “Idol” was the week’s No. 2 show in 18-49 (5.7/16), behind NBC’s “The Voice,” and No. 1 in total viewers (18.69 million). And Thursday’s first results show of the season won its hour (4.9/14, 17.27m).

The net didn’t get a lot of help elsewhere, though, as “Alcatraz” hit a low on Monday (1.8/4, 5.47m) and “Bob’s Burgers” was nothing special in its season opener on Sunday (1.9/5, 4.04m).

Fox’s first attempt at a four-comedy Tuesday didn’t generate much heat, either, though “Raising Hope” looked pretty good leading off (2.1/6, 4.74m). The returning “I Hate My Teenage Daughter” at 8:30 (1.6/4, 3.74m) and “Breaking In” at 9:30 (1.7/4, 3.60m) struggled as they began their second seasons, and rookie hit “New Girl” hit a low between them (3.0/8, 6.00m).

At CBS, “The Big Bang Theory” again led its Thursday half-hour in demos (5.1/15, 15.04m) and was the week’s No. 1 scripted skein. And 9 p.m. rookie drama “Person of Interest” achieved highs (3.4/9, 15.67m), standing as the week’s No. 2 drama in 18-49 and the top-rated scripted hour in 25-54 (4.8/11) and total viewers.

The Eye continues to get good mileage out of vet reality shows “Survivor” (3.2/9, 10.78m) and “The Amazing Race” (2.9/8, 9.65m), with the latter catching ABC’s “Once Upon a Time” for the 18-49 lead Sunday at 8.

CBS tried an original episode of Thursday drama “The Mentalist” on Friday (1.8/5, 11.34m) after “Undercover Boss” (2.0/7, 9.40m), faring a bit better than regular occupant “CSI: NY.”

NBC had a big Monday as “The Voice” (6.2/16, 16.85m) was on the rise to rate as the week’s No. 1 show in 18-49, and “Smash” (2.7/7 in 18-49, 7.76m) grew 17% to lead its hour in key demos.

As for “Awake,” the dual-reality drama (1.6/4, 4.33m) dropped a bit from its “Up All Night” demo lead-in (1.7/4, 3.44m) after building on it a week earlier.

It was a quiet week at ABC, where “Modern Family” and “Grey’s Anatomy” were in repeats and the net’s top show was Sunday rookie “Once Upon a Time” (2.9/8, 9.29m), which was sapped by daylight saving time. Also on Sunday, “Desperate Housewives” (2.6/6, 8.39m) and “GCB” (2.3/6, 7.12m) were up a tick; in a good sign for “GCB” in its second week, it held steady both half-hours in 18-49.

AMC’s “The Walking Dead” (3.6/10, 6.89m) edged up heading into its season finale, ranking sixth for the week in 18-49 (and No. 1 among dramas). Also repping cable in the top 25 were MTV’s “Jersey Shore” (2.8/8, 4.84m) and History’s “Pawn Stars” (2.2/5, 6.45m).

Other cable notables included Lifetime’s docusoap “Dance Moms,” which hit series highs Tuesday (1.1/3, 2.70m) and was cable’s No. 1 program in women 18-49 and 25-54 during the 9 p.m. hour.

Nickelodeon’s original “Big Time Movie” drew a big 4.12 million viewers on Saturday (including 2.2 million kids 2-11), and its score in persons 12-34 (1.4/5) led all of television from 8 to 9:30 in persons 12-34.

And Animal Planet’s “Finding Bigfoot” capped its second season on a high (1.53m); for the season, the show was up 15% over its rookie year (1.38m vs. 1.20m).

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