ABC’s ‘Resurrection’ Impresses in Its Bow On Busy Sunday Night

Resurrection (Disney/ABC)

ABC had put an end to its string of low-rated drama premieres as “Resurrection” — despite facing AMC’s own back-from-the-dead drama “The Walking Dead” — opened to strong numbers Sunday night. It built nicely on its “Once Upon a Time” lead-in and was easily the evening’s top broadcast program as the net won the night in demos.

According to preliminary national estimates from Nielsen, “Resurrection” averaged a 3.6 rating/9 share in adults 18-49 and 13.3 million viewers overall in the 9 o’clock hour, making it a close second to NBC’s “The Blacklist” as the top drama series launch of the season in 18-49. The 3.6 rating for “Resurrection” is 33% higher than the combined scores for the first three dramas ABC rolled out in 2014 — a 2.7 for “The Assets” (0.7), “Killer Women” (0.9) and “Mind Games” (1.1).

In its time period, “Resurrection” gave ABC its best regular series performance in adults 18-49 in the Sunday 9 p.m. hour since January 2011 (“Desperate Housewives”) and its largest overall audience for a regular series there since January 2010 (also “Desperate Housewives”).

“Resurrection” built by more than 50% in young adults from its “Once Upon a Time” lead-in (2.3/7 in 18-49, 7.3 million viewers overall) as the fairytale-themed drama returned after a lengthy break with gains of about 20% from its last original — despite the handicap of Daylight Saving Time. ABC opened the night with the catch-up special “Once Upon a Time: Wicked Is Coming” (1.2/4 in 18-49, 4.4 million viewers overall) and closed with the timeslot premiere of “Revenge” (1.9/5 in 18-49, 6.5 million viewers overall), which was back for the first time since January. Though above its prior 9 p.m. average (and providing a big timeslot improvement for the net at 10 p.m.), “Revenge” lost about half of its big “Resurrection” lead-in, as it’s clear that the 9 p.m. premiere brought a lot of viewers who came to the network for just that show.

Fox was expected later today to issue detailed data on the premiere of its “Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey,” which premiered simultaneously in the U.S. across 10 different Fox networks, including FX and some sports networks. The Fox broadcast airing drew a solid 2.1/5 in 18-49 and 5.8 million viewers overall. Leading into “Cosmos” were “Bob’s Burgers” at 7 p.m. in its new time period (0.9/3 in 18-49, 2.1 million viewers overall), “The Simpsons” (1.2/4 in 18-49, 2.6 million viewers overall), “The Simpsons” (1.6/5 in 18-49, 3.7 million viewers overall) and “Family Guy” at a special 8:30 time (2.2/6 in 18-49).

CBS, which won Sunday in total viewers, opened with “60 Minutes” (1.5/5 in 18-49, 10.6 million viewers overall) and “The Amazing Race” (1.8/5 in 18-49, 8.4 million viewers overall), followed by the returns of dramas “The Good Wife” (1.3/3 in 18-49, 8.9 million viewers overall) and “The Mentalist” (1.6/4 in 18-49, 9.9 million viewers overall). “Race” was up about 20% from last week (opposite the Oscars on ABC) while “Good Wife” was down about 15% from its most recent original, and likely was impacted by “Resurrection,” which did more than double what “Revenge” averaged in the hour earlier this season for ABC.

NBC aired a two-hour “Dateline” (1.1/4 in 18-49, 5.5 million viewers overall) and a special off-night encore of “The Voice” (1.1/3 in 18-49, 4.0 million viewers overall). The network bows its new Sunday dramas, “Believe” and “Crisis” next week, with the former first getting a special post-“Voice” preview tonight.

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: ABC, 2.2/7; Fox, 1.7/5; CBS, 1.6/5; NBC, 1.1/3.

In total viewers: CBS, 9.5 million; ABC, 7.9 million; NBC, 4.7 million; Fox, 4.1 million.

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  1. Dan North says:

    This show is based on a new novel called The Returned. It has the same plot as a French TV show also called The Returned (Les Revenants), which aired in 2012 and is now on its second season. That show is, in turn based on a movie called They Came Back from 2004. How are ABC, and writer Jason Mott, getting around the similarities? I’ve heard a couple of interviews and read a couple of reports of this show, none of which mention that this is extremely close to another recent show.

  2. The resurrection occurs in the name of the Christ (this means the full couple, Groom nBride, King nQueen) thus until 144,000 are complete this will not happen. It didnt happen in 1926 for Judge Rutherford. Those 144,000 must be completely dead before astral impact (probable date is the same 100-year generation that Abram had to Isaac, versus Ishmael which would have been 14 years earlier at 86 years). Death by rapture is the way Jesus did it, and true-Christians do not regard his jury-trial as suicide. But it does mean the death of about 10,000 people in one place one day by the USA. The whole scenerio and pressure (from all sides) is not likely to happen unless we are suddenly under an asteroid impact date we face. Raising in the name of the christ-bride thus means someone walked up to Jacob Langstons tomb or body or lost shoe and commanded he reappear. Unlike Rutherford’s 1926 prediction they dont just wake up because Bible claims they will not be allowed to see their life as restored by anyone but the real Christ. This movie does not indicate to Jacob who raised him (Mohammed? Jesus? Buddha?). But survivors of an armageddon do so by who they recognize as savior, and they proceed to bring forth the rest of the world by the same christ AND CHURCH BRIDE. It is not an option of VietNam freed for Catholics to bring them in, or Koreans freed for evangelists to bring them in, or Abram awaking in 1926 for Jews to bring him in… which as Hollywood kept MJ away from his family, so too Jews would keep Abram away from Beth Sarim California. God is above being stupid.

    • big daddy D says:

      Dude…put down the pipe. What the HELL are you talking about/smoking?? It’s a damned television show! Relax and take your meds.

  3. Susan says:

    I have to say that this program will hit so many people hard. If you (which most of us have) lost someone that you would love to have back in your life, to hear the voices of the “supposed resurrected people” ask did I die, did we all die? Opens way to many heartbreaking wounds for me. The song I’m coming home was the reminder to me that I will NEVER, EVER watch this program. How insensitive of the network to look for money and ratings using this topic. I’m sure there are many, many more out there that feel like me.

    • Emily says:

      Well, I’m not one of them. It’s just a TV show, and a well-done, fascinating one at that. Sure, I’d love to see my dearly departed loved ones again, but this show didn’t upset me in the least — and I am an emotional person.

  4. Julienne says:

    Loved the mystery of it! Hopefully the title “Resurrection” has something to do with a religiously themed outcome. Otherwise, we’ve been bambooozeled again by ABC.

    Once Upon A Time, has become so hokey, over the last year.

  5. big daddy D says:

    Didn’t they do this show before already? The 4400?

  6. MichaelZ says:

    total viewers chart wrong (10.6)

  7. MichaelZ says:

    “built nicely” is the understatement of the year; kinda like saying American Idol’s two-time flop J. Lo is slightly overpaid by the slightly incompetent execs running Fox

  8. Sally Hookum says:

    Great great show. Didnt want to leave the couch at all. I am so looking forward to next Sunday…..

  9. I loved the show. I hope that all episodes are as intriguing and interesting as the opening!

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