New drama wins hour, though; ABC's 'Swap' solid in return

CBS has dominated another Tuesday behind its powerhouse “NCIS” combo, while the net’s special preview of new drama “Golden Boy” closed out the night a winner but with underwhelming scores. Another show scheduled for a brief Tuesday run, ABC’s “Celebrity Wife Swap,” had a solid bow in its return.

According to preliminary national estimates from Nielsen, “NCIS” (3.4 rating/10 share in adults 18-49, 20.5 million viewers overall) was down a tick week to week but remained the night’s No. 1 program — and again figures to be television’s most-watched series overall for the week. It was followed by “NCIS: Los Angeles” (2.9/8 in 18-49, 16.8 million viewers overall), the No. 2 show of the night and up a bit from last week.

And closing things out was the 10 p.m. preview of cop show “Golden Boy” (1.8/5 in 18-49, 10.5 million viewers overall), which easily led among the broadcast networks and was up 20% over last week’s “Vegas” in the hour; but given that it declined noticeably in its second half-hour (1.6 at 10:30 p.m. from a 2.0 at 10 p.m.), it’s not an especially promising start. “Golden Boy” is scheduled to move to Friday nights at 9 after its second Tuesday preview episode next week.

CBS controlled the night in 18-49, 25-54 and total viewers, with its overall average audience (15.9 million) better than the combined deliveries of ABC, Fox, NBC and CW.

ABC opened the night with the first of three “Celebrity Wife Swap” episodes, which averaged a second-place 2.4/7 in 18-49 and 7 million viewers overall — the best scores to date for the show, which aired nine episodes last year. This represented a big 50% improvement over previous timeslot occupant “The Taste” (a 1.6 last week) and is the best series score in what has been a troubled timeslot for ABC since last February (“Last Man Standing”). Celebrity diving show “Splash” takes over the hour starting March 19.

“Wife Swap” was followed by the time-period premiere of “The Taste” (1.4/4 in 18-49, 4.1 million viewers overall), which was down 13% from last week’s 8 p.m. score for its lowest result to date. And at 10, “Body of Proof” (1.2/3 in 18-49, 6.3 million viewers overall) matched its week-ago season premiere score.

At Fox, “Raising Hope” held steady kicking off the night (1.5/5 in 18-49, 3.6 million viewers overall), and a special 8:30 p.m. original performed similarly (1.4/4 in 18-49, 3.2 million viewers overall). It was followed by “New Girl” (2.3/6 in 18-49, 4.3 million viewers overall), which was up a tick week to week and was again the night’s No. 1 comedy in 18-49 and No. 1 program among the Big Four in adults 18-34 (2.5/8). And at 9:30 p.m., “The Mindy Project” (1.6/4 in 18-49, 3.2 million viewers overall) matched its week-ago score.

NBC pretty much held steady with its under-performing lineup of “Betty White’s Off Their Rockers” (1.3/4 in 18-49, 4.5 million viewers overall at 8 p.m. and 1.3/4 in 18-49, 4.4 million viewers overall at 8:30 p.m.), “Go On” (1.1/3 in 18-49, 3.1 million viewers overall), “The New Normal” (1.0/3 in 18-49, 2.6 million viewers overall) and “Smash” (0.9/3 in 18-49, 3.0 million viewers overall). The 8:30 “Rockers” and 9:30 rookie “New Normal” ticked up vs. last week while the other shows remained at their week-ago levels.

At CW, “Hart of Dixie” (0.6/2 in 18-49, 1.4 million viewers overall) edged up week to week, and 9 p.m. newcomer “Cult” matched its weak premiere score of last week (0.3/1 in 18-49, 0.9 million viewers overall).

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: CBS, 2.7/8; ABC and Fox, 1.7/5; Univision, 1.5/4; NBC, 1.1/3; CW, 0.5/1.

In total viewers: CBS, 15.9 million; ABC, 5.8 million; Univision, 3.8 million; Fox, 3.6 million; NBC, 3.4 million; CW, 1.1 million.

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