ABC drama lineup way down from last year opening May sweep; CBS is the only network up
Sunday remains a lackluster night for the broadcast networks this spring as CBS and Fox tied for the evening’s lead among young adults even though they each grabbed just 5% of the available audience. Cable certainly has big draws on Sunday and has divided the viewing pie into slivers, but it’s clear that the Big Four can make moves to shore up the night.
According to preliminary national estimates from Nielsen, CBS finished on top in adults 18-49, 25-54 and total viewers Sunday, with “60 Minutes” (1.5/5 in 18-49, 11.6 million viewers overall starting things off as the top show in the 7 o’clock hour in all these categories (including a tie in the 18-49 demo); the newsmagazine was also Sunday’s most-watched program overall. It was followed by “The Amazing Race” (2.3/6 in 18-49, 9.1 million viewers overall), which was nearly at last week’s level and won the 8 o’clock hour in key demos.
At 9, the season finale of “The Good Wife” (1.6/4 in 18-49, 9.0 million viewers overall) was up slightly from last week, standing as the broadcast leader for the hour in adults 25-54 (2.3/5) and total viewers; it finished just a tick behind ABC’s “Revenge” in 18-49. And at 10, “The Mentalist” (1.5/4 in 18-49, 8.7 million viewers overall) was down a smidge from last week and finished just a tick out of the broadcast lead for the hour in key demos.
CBS was up or flat versus last year’s opening Sunday of the May sweep in three of four hours, while “Good Wife” was off just a tenth of a ratings point. It was the only Big Four net to post gains from a year ago.
Elsewhere, Fox tied with CBS for the night’s 18-49 lead among broadcasters while winning outright in younger and male categories. Following a repeat of “The Simpsons” (0.9/3 in 18-49, 2.1 million viewers overall) and a new “The Cleveland Show” (1.2/4 in 18-49, 2.6 million viewers overall), a new episode of “The Simpsons” (2.0/6 in 18-49, 4.5 million viewers overall) was up 10% (0.2) from its most recent original, and “Bob’s Burgers” (1.7/5 in 18-49, 3.5 million viewers overall) matched last week’s result on a night when it followed a “Simpsons” repeat. At 9, “Family Guy” (2.5/7 in 18-49, 4.9 million viewers overall) was the Big Four leader for the night in 18-49, on par with its last first-run episode, and
“American Dad” closed things out (1.9/5 in 18-49, 4.0 million viewers overall), up slightly from last week’s episode following a “Family Guy” repeat.
ABC continues to trend down on the night with its lineup of “America’s Funniest Home Videos” (1.5/5 in 18-49, 6.4 million viewers overall), “Once Upon a Time” (2.0/5 in 18-49, 7.0 million viewers overall), “Revenge” (1.7/4 in 18-49, 5.9 million viewers overall) and “Red Widow” (0.7/2 in 18-49, 3.5 million viewers overall), which is surprisingly being allowed to finish its run on Sunday despite again drawing less than half of what “GCB” earned in the hour a year ago. “Once Upon a Time” was down about 30% from its showing of last year, and “Revenge” — airing a new episode for the first time in four weeks — was down a similar amount from “Desperate Housewives” last year though up a bit from its most recent original on Easter. And on the plus side kicking off the night, “Home Videos” hit a six-week high in 18-49 to tie with “60 Minutes” for the lead at 7.
NBC isn’t doing much on the night with its two-hour encore of “The Voice” (0.8/3 in 18-49, 3.3 million viewers overall) and “Celebrity Apprentice” (1.5/4 in 18-49, 5.0 million viewers overall), with the latter down about 25% from last year.
Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: CBS and Fox, 1.7/5; ABC, 1.5/4; NBC, 1.2/3; Univision, 1.0/3.
In total viewers: CBS, 9.6 million; ABC, 5.7 million; NBC, 4.1 million; Fox, 3.6 million; Univision, 2.8 million.