NBC Wins Second Week of Season in Demos; CBS Rolls in Total Viewers

Blacklist Scorpion Ratings

CBS got the NFL overrun on Sunday, but it wasn’t quite enough to enable the net to catch NBC last week, as the Peacock opened the season with a second straight demo victory.

With “Sunday Night Football” and “The Voice” accounting for three of the week’s top five broadcasts in adults 18-49, NBC won Monday, Tuesday and Sunday among the broadcasters. It also drew its largest overall audience for the second week of a season in seven years, according to Nielsen.

CBS figured to be more competitive in the few weeks this fall when it had both “Thursday Night Football” and the Sunday NFL overrun, and that was indeed the case last week. The net pulled to within two tenths of NBC in adults 18-49 and one tenth in adults 25-54 while opening up a bigger-than-usual advantage in total viewers.

ABC was third, comfortably ahead of Fox — which tumbled without a big football lead-in on Sunday and saw low debuts (3 shares) for “Gracepoint” and “Mulaney.”

Football claimed the top three spots in the same-night program rankings with NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” (7.4/21 in 18-49, 19.39 million viewers overall for Cincinnati-New England), CBS and NFL Network’s “Thursday Night Football” (5.9/19 in 18-49, 16.54 million viewers overall for Minnesota-Green Bay) and ESPN’s “Monday Night Football” (5.3/15 in 18-49, 14.43 million viewers overall for New England-Kansas City).

The Eye’s current Monday anchor, “The Big  Bang Theory,” was again the week’s top entertainment series in 18-49 (4.8/15), and “Sunday Night Football” drew more total viewers than any other primetime show (19.39 million).

Looking at the new shows, CBS had good news for its “Scorpion” (3.1/8 in 18-49, 13.36 million viewers overall) and “NCIS: New Orleans” (2.3/7 in 18-49, 16.57 million viewers overall), both of which retained more than 90% of their week-earlier premieres — even with reduced lead-ins. And in its third week, “Madam Secretary” was up (1.6/4 in 18-49, 12.20 million viewers overall), and figures to oscillate more than weeknight shows, depending on if early-evening football can provide a boost to lead-in “60 Minutes.”

The net also bowed “Stalker” to solid but unspectacular numbers on Wednesday (2.0/6 in 18-49, 9.05 million viewers overall). It retained about 75% of its lead-in from “Criminal Minds” (2.7/8, 11.65 million viewers overall), which had a nice return as it kicked off its 10th season.

NBC introduced comedies “Bad Judge” (1.3/4 in 18-49, 5.84 million viewers overall) and “A to Z” (1.2/3 in 18-49, 4.79 million viewers overall) to low numbers Thursday. The net’s only other rookie show, Wednesday’s “The Mysteries of Laura,” continues to do OK (1.5/5 in 18-49, 8.98 million viewers overall) and held at its previous week’s level.

ABC had the week’s top first-year show in demos for a second straight week with “How to Get Away With Murder” (3.3/10 in 18-49, 12.15 million viewers overall), which held 85% of its week-ago premiere score, and looks to be a great fit with “Scandal” (3.4/10 in 18-49, 10.70 million viewers overall), which was the frame’s top drama in demos.

The net’s “Selfie” (1.6/5 in 18-49, 5.31 million viewers overall) and “Manhattan Love Story” (1.5/5 in 18-49, 4.70 million viewers overall) didn’t open to great numbers Tuesday, but it’s not easy to launch half-hours without any support, as NBC found out Thursday.

“Once Upon a Time” also continues to pop early in its fourth season (3.3/9 in 18-49, 9.24 million viewers overall), again standing as Sunday’s top series among under-50 viewers.

At Fox, “Gotham” continues to look pretty good on Monday (2.8/8 in 18-49, 7.45m) and is generating a lot of time-shifted playback. But the net has plenty of problem spots across the week.

Thursday drama “Gracepoint” was slow out of the gate (1.2/3 in 18-49, 4.76 million viewers overall), and Sunday comedy “Mulaney” opened meekly (1.0/3 in 18-49, 2.30 million viewers overall), retaining just a little over half its “Family Guy” lead-in and delivering the lowest premiere score for any new series this fall.

“Red Band Society” isn’t doing much on Wednesdays (1.1/3 in 18-49, 3.33 million viewers overall) but at least is holding the audience it has through three weeks. And then there’s “Utopia,” which has been pulled off the net’s Tuesday schedule after another weak showing (0.8/3 in 18-49, 1.99 million viewers overall) and will air solely on Fridays going forward.

CW returned its Thursday drama lineup to depressed numbers, as “The Vampire Diaries” (0.9/3 in 18-49, 1.81 million viewers overall) was down 25% from last year’s opener, and “Reign” (0.4/1 in 18-49, 1.01 million viewers overall) barely registered.

At TBS, the Major League Baseball postseason was averaging 3.9 million viewers through the completion of the American League Division Series, up 15% from last year. Its most-watched game was Tuesday’s A.L. Wild Card game between Oakland and Kansas City (1.7 rating in 18-49, 5.21 million viewers overall).

Elsewhere in cable, FX’s “Sons of Anarchy” (2.1/7 in 18-49, 4.04 million viewers overall) and VH1’s “Love & Hip Hop Hollywood” (1.3/4 in 18-49, 2.29 million viewers overall) were the top non-sports series in 18-49.

At Showtime, “Homeland” kicked off its fourth season with 1.61 million viewers for its regular-timeslot airing, down 14% from last fall’s premiere (1.88 million) and 32% lower than the show’s peak with its season finale in December (2.38 million). That same night, FX’s “The Strain” wrapped its first season as that night’s top cable drama (0.9/2 in 18-49, 2.09 million viewers overall).

Fox News Channel, which this week is celebrating its 18th anniversary as well as the first anniversary of its revamped primetime lineup, was again in the top five among cable networks — something it’s done 50 times over the past 52 weeks. The third quarter of this year marked its first time of being No. 1 in 7-11 p.m. primetime total viewers in all of cable since it launched in 1996.



Adults 18-49
NBC                   2.7/8
CBS                    2.5/8
ABC                    2.0/6
ESPN                 1.3/4
Fox                     1.2/4
UNI                    1.1/3
TBS                    1.0/3
Adult Swim        0.6/2
USA                   0.6/2
FX                      0.5/2

Total Viewers 2+
CBS             11.36 million
NBC              8.99 million
ABC              7.46 million
ESPN           3.75 million
Fox               3.41 million
TBS              3.12 million
UNI              2.84 million
Disney         1.88 million
USA             1.79 million
Fox News    1.69 million


Adults 18-49
1.  Sunday Night Football (NBC), 7.4/21
2.  Thursday Night Football (CBS), 5.9/19
3.  Monday Night Football (ESPN), 5.3/15
4.  The Big Bang Theory (CBS), 4.8/15
5.  The Voice-Tuesday (NBC), 4.1/13
6.  The Voice-Monday (NBC), 4.0/11
7.  Modern Family (ABC), 3.7/12
8.  Scandal (ABC), 3.4/10
9.  How to Get Away With Murder (ABC), 3.3/10
9.  Once Upon a Time (ABC), 3.3/9

Total Viewers (in millions)
1.  Sunday Night Football (NBC), 19.39
2.  NCIS (CBS), 18.84
3.  NCIS: New Orleans (CBS), 16.57
4.  Thursday Night Football (CBS/NFLN), 16.54
5.  The Big Bang Theory (CBS), 16.38
6.  Monday Night Football (ESPN), 14.43
7.  60 Minutes (CBS), 14.23
8.  The Voice-Tuesday (NBC), 13.73
9.  Scorpion (CBS), 13.36
10.  The Voice-Monday (NBC), 12.94



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  1. MarinDem says:

    Glad to see “Scorpion” is killin’ it in total audience, holding on to 13M of TBBT’s 16M super strong lead-in. Surprisingly deceptive as a quite watchable 21st Century wholesome well scripted family friendly show with a well rounded story line leaving tons of room for great character development that could play out over a number of seasons. Another brilliant letters (CIA, FBI, NCIS, etc) drama. I’m believing “Scorpion” will hold serve when TBBT moves to its time honored Thursday slot during CBS late October – there goes football – shuffle and super late season starts for a some take-it-or-leave it comedies.

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