The Bachelor

Dating show posts best premiere scores in three years as net easily beats its rivals on the night

In a season that has seen declining numbers for virtually all veteran reality franchises, ABC’s “The Bachelor” went against the grain by posting strong numbers for its premiere on Monday night.

Opposite some repeats on CBS and NBC, but tough sports competition from ESPN’s college football championship game, “The Bachelor” averaged a 2.7 rating/7 share in adults 18-49 and 8.5 million viewers overall — up 17% in the demo and 23% in total viewers vs. last year for the show’s best start to a year since 2011.

ABC easily beat its rivals on the night and hit a Monday season high in 18-49, even though an original episode of “Castle” was on the low side (1.8/4 in 18-49, 8.8 million viewers overall).

At Fox, “Almost Human” (1.7/4 in 18-49, 6.2 million viewers overall) was up vs. its most recent original, and was followed by an encore “Sleepy Hollow” (0.8/2 in 18-49, 2.7 million viewers overall). “Sleepy Hollow” is back with an original next week, and “The Following” takes over its timeslot starting Jan. 27.

CBS went with special repeats of “2 Broke Girls” at 8 (1.7/4 in 18-49, 6.8 million viewers overall) and “Mom” at 8:30 (1.3/3 in 18-49, 5.2 million viewers overall), followed by the final two episodes of rookie drama “Hostages” (1.1/3 in 18-49, 5.0 million viewers overall at 9 p.m. and 1.0/2 in 18-49, 4.7 million viewers overall at 10). Starting next week, new drama “Intelligence” takes over in the 10 p.m. hour for the net.

NBC aired three repeats of hit rookie drama “The Blacklist” (0.9/2 in 18-49, 4.5 million viewers overall at 8 p.m., 0.9/2 in 18-49, 3.9 million viewers overall at 9, and 1.1/3 in 18-49, 4.2 million viewers overall at 10). The show is back in originals next week.

CW aired encores of “Hart of Dixie” (0.2/1 in 18-49, 0.7 million viewers overall) and “Beauty and the Beast” (0.1/0 in 18-49, 0.5 million viewers overall).

Univision ranked second on the night, getting a boost from the series premiere of “Que Pobres Tan Ricos” at 10 p.m. (1.5/4 in 18-49, 3.4 million viewers overall).

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: ABC, 2.4/6; Univision, 1.4/3; Fox, 1.3/3; CBS, 1.2/3; NBC, 1.0/2; Telemundo, 0.5/1; CW, 0.2/0.

In total viewers: ABC, 8.6 million; CBS, 5.2 million; Fox, 4.5 million; NBC, 4.2 million; Univision, 3.5 million; Telemundo, 1.3 million; CW, 0.6 million.

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