Ratings: CBS’ ‘Under the Dome’ Down Sharply on Crowded Night for Dramas

Under the Dome Review
Courtesy of CBS

The same-night ratings bar for summer series continues to lower, with CBS’ “Under the Dome” returning considerably softer than last year — yet was still the top-rated among the evening’s six dramas on the major networks.  ABC’s “Rookie Blue” also was much lower as it returned, while Fox’s “Boom!” didn’t make a lot of noise in its bow.

The sheer number of original dramas across the television landscape has mushroomed in just the two years since the premiere of “Under the Dome,” which was one of only two scripted Big Four programs on the June 2013 night it bowed — unlike last night when all four of the major networks were airing scripted originals. The NBA Draft also may have stolen away some night viewers from the original series on the broadcast networks last night.

According to preliminary national estimates from Nielsen, CBS won Thursday in key demos behind the second night of the two-night “Big Brother” season premiere (2.0 rating/8 share in adults 18-49, 6.4 million viewers overall), which was nearly on par with its Wednesday score, and the third-season premiere of “Under the Dome” (1.3/5 in 18-49, 6.2 million viewers overall), which won its two-hour timeslot in both demos and total viewers but hit a series low (excluding last year’s Labor Day special episode, which did a 1.2).

“Dome” was down a big 38% in 18-49 from last year’s premiere on a Monday (1.3 vs. 2.1) and about 19% lower than its same-night season average for last year (1.6). “Dome” was a breakout hit when it bowed two years ago, and averaged 11.2 million same-night viewers for its first season; that number fell to about 7.2 million last year.

“Under the Dome” will air regularly at 10 p.m. starting next week, following “Big Brother” at its regular 9 p.m. timeslot.

Elsewhere, Fox’s “Wayward Pines” continues to look good (1.2/4 in 18-49, 3.4 million viewers overall), matching last week’s score despite the additional drama competition from “Under the Dome.” “Wayward” has been a very consistent performer and hit a high in Live+7 with its June 4 episode (2.4), according to the most recent full-week playback Nielsen numbers available. Leading into “Wayward Pines” was the debut of quizshow “Boom!” (0.9/4 in 18-49, 2.5 million viewers overall), which placed third for its timeslot.

At ABC, “Astronaut Wives Club” (0.8/3 in 18-49, 4.5 million viewers overall) fell 27% (0.3) from last week’s OK series premiere, placing fourth for its 8 p.m. hour in 18-49 and third in both adults 25-54 and total viewers; still, it rated better than last year’s “Black Box” in the same timeslot (0.6 in 18-49, 3.8 million). It was followed by “Mistresses” (0.7/3 in 18-49, 3.3 million viewers overall), down 0.2 from last week’s season premiere, and the fifth-season premiere of “Rookie Blue” (0.6/2 in 18-49, 3.7 million viewers overall), which was down a steep 45% from its year-ago opener (1.1).

NBC opened well with “Dateline” (1.3/5 in 18-49, 6.9 million viewers overall), which was on par with last week and placed second for the 8 o’clock hour in demos and first in total viewers; in fact, it was the night’s most-watched program on any network. The newsmagazine was followed by original dramas “Aquarius” (0.6/2 in 18-49, 3.2 million viewers overall) and “Hannibal” (0.4/1 in 18-49, 1.6 million viewers overall), with the former basically even with last week and the latter down a tick. This week, NBC renewed “Aquarius” for a second season while announcing that this will be the final season of “Hannibal.”

CW’s “Beauty and the Beast” (0.2/1 in 18-49, 0.9 million viewers overall) remained very low, down a tenth from last week. It was followed by a repeat episode of “The Vampire Diaries” (0.2/1 in 18-49, 0.6 million viewers overall).

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: CBS, 1.5/6; Fox, 1.0/4; NBC and Univision, 0.8/3; ABC, 0.7/3; Telemundo, 0.6/2; CW, 0.2/1.

In total viewers: CBS, 6.3 million; NBC, 3.9 million; ABC, 3.8 million; Fox, 2.9 million; Univision, 2.2 million; Telemundo, 1.3 million; CW, 0.7 million.

TV Ratings Thursday, June 25, 2015
18-49 ratings/share
  1. 1.

    Big Brother

    (8:00 CBS)

    6.4 Million Viewers
  2. 2.


    (8:00 NBC)

    6.9 Million Viewers
  3. 3.

    Under the Dome

    (9:00 CBS)

    6.2 Million Viewers
  4. 4.

    Wayward Pines

    (9:00 Fox)

    3.4 Million Viewers
  5. 5.


    (8:00 Fox)

    2.5 Million Viewers

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  1. Joe says:

    Just wait til next weeks ratings, they will drop by atleast another 15-25%. The first couple seasons you hoped the acting and writing would improve and were willing to give it time, but after the season premiere we can clearly see the writing is terrible and this show should be cancelled shortly.

  2. The ratings were down “sharply” because the episode was a waste of people’s time!

  3. Willie Light says:

    By the time Under the Dome was over, my wife and I felt like we just watched an episode of Lost. Lost is how we felt about half way through. After all winter, I can’t believe the writers couldn’t come up with something better. Totally confusing. It won’t last the season if it doesn’t improve!

  4. Ali says:

    Enjoyed season 1 immensely. I am watching the season 2 opener right now, and I have to say I am not at all impressed. It seems to be a rather bad combination of Invasion of the Body Snatchers & Tommyknockers… I will likely give the second episode a viewing, but if it is as bad as Episode 1, I’m done.

  5. Maybe the low ratings were due to the fact that some people didn’t realize the show was returning this Thursday? I am a loyal viewer and would have tuned in if I knew it was on. I think they are on Amazon shortly after, so I can still see it. They should take into account how many people watch it on Amazon.

  6. Viewer says:

    By the 5th episode of Season 1 of “Under The Dome’, I started feeling as trapped as the actors involved. Interesting book by King; lousy and contrived series on CBS. Put it out of its misery, already.

  7. malcolm says:

    For those who like it i hope it lasts for you but for me its been one of the worse adaptions of a novel ever put on tv …

  8. Jimmy Green says:

    It started with a great bang. Then it fizzled into its second season with a soap opera meandering and complex plot that was so convoluted no one cared to keep up with. It time to pull the plug and end its suffering.

  9. Kaitha says:

    What do you expect. It comes on at 10pm! If it’s on demand in a few days, I’ll watch it then, but I’ll never watch a program that late at night…yes, it’s that late for me ;)

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