ABC was the clear winner in the battle of multi-camera comedy hours leading off Friday night, as its combo of “Last Man Standing” and rookie “Dr. Ken” bested NBC’s second week of “Undateable” and the premiere of “Truth Be Told.”
According to preliminary national estimates from Nielsen, “Truth Be Told” averaged a 0.7 rating/3 share in adults 18-49 and 2.6 million viewers overall in the 8:30 p.m. half-hour, dropping off some from its “Undateable” lead-in (0.9/4 in 18-49, 3.2 million viewers overall). “Undateable” was up a tick from its low hourlong season opener of the previous week, but “Truth Be Told” (which is currently at a 0.74 in un-rounded prelims) followed with the lowest premiere score for any of the fall’s new Big Four series and what’s believed to be NBC’s lowest ever for an in-season premiere.
Expectations for “Truth Be Told” were modest, to be sure, but NBC would like to see it hold more of, or even build from, its “Undateable” lead-in. The network could get some much needed heat on the night in two weeks when veteran drama “Grimm” kicks off its season in the 9 o’clock hour. Last night, a two-hour “Dateline” did a 0.9/3 in 18-49 and 4.4 million viewers overall from 9 to 11.
ABC had to be pleased with its opening hour, as “Last Man Standing” (1.3/5 in 18-49, 6.5 million viewers overall) and “Dr. Ken” (1.3/5 in 18-49, 5.8 million viewers overall) matched their week-ago scores and placed second to Fox’s coverage of baseball’s American League Championship Series (prelim 1.4/6 in the demo from 8 to 9). It wouldn’t be a surprise to see the Ken Jeong-fronted family comedy “Dr. Ken” get an order for more episodes based on its good week-three performance.
Despite the solid 8-9 p.m. showing, the Alphabet’s 9 p.m. reality veteran “Shark Tank” continues to look sluggish this fall. Last night, its 1.3/5 in 18-49 and 5.7 million viewers overall was a season low and at least half a point below the 1.9 it did in the fourth week of last season. It likely lost some viewers to Fox’s baseball, which did a preliminary 1.7 demo rating in the 9 o’clock hour, but “Shark Tank” has clearly lost some steam after being the tentpole of the night for years. ABC’s “20/20” (1.2/5 in 18-49, 5.2 million viewers overall) was a narrow 18-49 leader among regular 10 p.m. series, up from last week and matching its season high in 25-54 (1.8/5).
At CBS, “The Amazing Race” (1.1/4 in 18-49, 6.0 million viewers overall) held steady, but dramas “Hawaii Five-0” (1.0/4 in 18-49, 8.9 million viewers overall) and “Blue Bloods” (1.1/3 in 18-49, 10.3 million viewers overall) slipped opposite baseball. “Blue Bloods” still figures to stand as Friday’s most-watched program overall.
CW’s “Reign” (0.3/1 in 18-49, 0.9 million viewers overall) matched last week’s premiere score, and was followed by a special repeat of new Monday series “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” (0.3/1 in 18-49, 0.8 million viewers overall), which did as well with this encore as it did with its premiere four nights earlier.