ABC’s ‘Rising Star’ Opens to Sluggish Numbers Sunday Night

Rising Star Ratings ABC

America really does seem to have its fill of music competition series, as ABC’s ambitious and heavily hyped “Rising Star” opened quietly in the ratings Sunday night.

ABC has ordered special time zone-adjusted preliminary nationals from Nielsen, which will be issued later this morning, but all early indications are that “Rising Star” fell short of expectations, beaten head-to-head by a special edition of NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” that was specifically scheduled to blunt the ABC newcomer from getting off the ground.

On a night of other premieres on cable, including the return of HBO’s “True Blood” and the debut of TNT’s “The Last Ship,” ABC’s “Rising Star” averaged a 1.5 rating/5 share in adults 18-49 and about 5 million viewers overall on the network’s stations from 9 to 11 p.m. During the same window, “America’s Got Talent” did a timeslot-leading 2.1/6 in the demo and 8 million viewers overall — a larger audience than anything (excluding sports and “The Golden Globes”) the net has aired in the Sunday timeslot since May 2011.

In Nielsen’s metered-market overnights, “Rising Star” did a 5.1 household rating/9 share to a 3.2/5 for “America’s Got Talent,” which regularly airs on Tuesdays.

“Rising Star,” based on a successful Israeli format in which viewers vote for contestants in real time via a smartphone/tablet app, premiered a month after the conclusion of a TV season that saw Fox’s “The X Factor” canceled following its low-rated third season, while the net’s “American Idol” limped to its lowest-rated year ever. Even NBC’s “The Voice,” the current music-competition leader, saw some ratings erosion as it wrapped its sixth cycle in May.

The preliminary 1.5 demo rating for “Rising Star” is a bit below the 1.7 for ABC’s most recent attempt in the music competition genre, “Duets,” in May 2012.

“Rising Star” attracted 129,071 tweets on Sunday night, with ABC noting that this was more than double what “America’s Got Talent” drew when it opened its season last month (59,734) and about 30% more than this summer’s season premiere of Fox’s “So You Think You Can Dance” (98,888). The ABC series was easily the most discussed Sunday series on Twitter, drawing nearly three times as many tweets as the special “AGT” (33,000).

The “Rising Star” app has surpassed 1 million downloads, the show announced Sunday, and it was the No. 1 free app at the Apple store for the day.

Leading into “Rising Star” for ABC was the season premiere of ABC’s tired “Wipeout” (1.0/3 in 18-49, 3.5 million viewers overall).


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  1. Lamar says:

    Why is it on so late on a Sunday night. Kids gotta go to bed. I agree josh is a great singer but as a host not so much. Judges not sure why they are there. Waste of time. I do like the show but change the app, josh and judges

  2. Lamar says:

    Why is it on so late on a Sunday night. Kids gotta go to bed. I agree josh is a great singer but as a host not so much. Judges not sure why they are there. Waste of time. I do like the show but change the app so it does freeze, josh and judges

  3. Lamar says:

    I can’t vote the app is frozen there are bugs for sure they need to fix it because that’s not fair to contestants

  4. christine oskirko says:

    I was shocked at how extremely boring that show is!!! The judges were comatose and Josh Brolin, who I love when singing, was not a good host. After enjoying The Voice and it’s warm hearted banter, that cannot be imitated, I kept wondering just HOW these judges got picked.I will not bother with it again.

  5. it’s astounding how much promotion they’ve been putting behind this. Even if it’s targeted toward younger auds, I don’t think they get how they want to engage on new platforms. Will be interesting to see this one ride out the summer. maybe it will get better.

    I do have to say, that i’m interested yet tepid on The Quest. A little fantasy-reality in between Game of Thrones. Although I haven’t seen a cent of marketing for this. I am guessing they don’t have faith in it. I’d rather watch this than the Rising Star.

  6. D says:

    Josh is terrible host. He stutters and has no concept of attention grabbing fillers. He uses umm, ah, as if he has no idea what he is supposed to do. When one of the singers hit 70% in the last second Josh walked on stage and say “time to go home, oh not time to go home yet…” what? Pay attention Josh. Luda was the best judge with constructive criticism and feedback. The other two judges were awful and scared to hurt singers’ feelings, but honest feedback is the only way these performers will get better. The show was not well written either, or maybe that is another reflection of the host. When the singer was chosen from the audience it was obvious that she knew what was happening. The dramatic effect was obsolete. Are all of the songs sped up so that the singers can get as much singing in in 1:30 minutes? Most of the songs sounded rushed, so I wasn’t sure if this was singer’s choice or producer’s instruction. I did not like it.

  7. Michael Stanis says:

    ciathe sob stories the singing contestants tell before they sing, should not be part of the show. the public wants to hear them sing..and not have to watch all them commercials between singers..

  8. Michael Conrad says:

    I could have fixed rising star before it aired. 1) judges are weak (except for ludacris) replace, 2) host is weak (Josh is not a viewer draw) 3 ) show is slow, no need for singer back story, or judges input, just keep pumping out singers and.let people vote. Deal with judges in next round.

  9. Jan says:

    Josh is a talented singer but definitely not a show host. Two of the judges are weak–those not named Ludicris. Need more singing and less filler material.

  10. Tahler says:

    I watched/voted here on the West Coast. I may or may not tune in next week but I uninstalled the app after the first episode so I won’t be voting.

    They REALLY should have more than one performance per commercial break, though. The ammkuny of commercials were excessive.

  11. Jh says:

    In my opinion it was ok. Not the best show I’ve ever seen but not the worst.

  12. JC says:

    Apparently it got off to a slow start in Israel as well but was a big hit by the end of the season. The show has potential but they need to pick up the pace a bit. It would have worked better as a 90 minute show. I really enjoyed it but it would be better with less time filler.

  13. Jay says:

    Tweets dont sell advertising. Viewership does.

  14. Rose Anfield says:

    Way too slow. The jusges are terrible, and there is not enough singing. One singer every 15 minutes will not keep my attention.

  15. Jack says:

    As a statistician, the chart they use on this show really bothers me. The percentage should be fluctuating rapidly between 0 and 100% as people vote, not rising from 0% to 1% to 2% etc.

    • Kim says:

      I’m confused about how the chart bothered you. The default vote is “no” so the percentage goes up as people vote “yes”. You can’t change your vote. The number of total voters is fixed for each round, as it makes you “check in” before each vote begins, so the chart makes sense to me, but I’m no statistician.

      I thought Josh did a great job, especially for a guy who is a singer and not usually a host. I found him much more entertaining than Carson Daly has ever been. I agree that it was super slow though. If I am forced to watch this live in order to vote, it definitely needs to do a better job of keeping me engaged.

      • Chris says:

        Jack has a good point. I didn’t watch the show, but if the chart is shown as a percent of approval (a ratio of YES versus NO), then the normal expectation would be for the chart to start somewhere around 50%, fluctuate noticeably when the votes are first coming in, then stabilize and trend upward or downward, like watching an election.

        It is possible, however, to do it like what is described here. If the number of voters is predetermined, then what is actually happening is the number of YES votes is being counted, then the count is shown as a percent of the total possible votes, so as the count comes in, the percent goes up. As the number of votes approaches the limit, then chart becomes a reflection of the actual YES versus NO ratio.

  16. Steven says:

    Super slow pace, sob stories to influence voting rather than ability, boring judges (except maybe Ludacris), shaky – although likable – host. This was a really poor showing and unless they dump the sob story intros and let people see more people actually sing it won’t last another week.

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