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Ratings: ABC’s ‘American Crime’ Gets Solid Start; CBS’ ‘Odd Couple’ Rises

UPDATE: In updated national estimates from Nielsen released Friday afternoon, “American Crime” finished at its preliminary score of 2.0/7 in 18-49 while drawing 8.37 million viewers overall.

The only revisions were one-tenth gains for CBS’ “The Big Bang Theory” (4.8/16 in 18-49, 18.17 million viewers overall), NBC’s “The Blacklist” (1.8/5 in 18-49, 8.23 million viewers overall) and Fox’s “American Idol” (2.2/7 in 18-49, 9.41 million viewers overall). This is a four-week high in total viewers for “Blacklist.”

 

ABC’s ambitious John Ridley drama “American Crime” generated decent sampling on Thursday, winning its hour — though with numbers far from what the net has gotten used to this season. CBS earned a young-adult demo tie on the night with ABC thanks to a huge “The Big Bang Theory” and a strong third-week performance by “The Odd Couple.”

The biggest beneficiary of promotional time during ABC’s telecast of the Oscars last month, “American Crime” has generated mostly excellent reviews but it’s considered far from a slam dunk to succeed. Seen as more of a prestige-cable drama than typical broadcast fare, its low-key and downbeat nature also makes it very different tonally than either the drama that aired leading into it (“Scandal”) or the one it’s replacing (“How to Get Away With Murder”).

On its premiere night, “American Crime” averaged a 2.0 rating/7 share in adults 18-49 and 8.4 million viewers overall in the 10 o’clock hour — drawing nearly as many young adults as the combined scores of CBS’ “Elementary” (1.3/4 in 18-49, 7.5 million viewers overall) and NBC’s “Allegiance” (0.8/3 in 18-49, 3.4 million viewers overall).

It held up reasonably well from the first half-hour to the second (falling from a 2.2 to 1.9 in the demo and from 8.9 million to 8.0 million), as new 10 p.m. series — especially those airing behind a hit show — tend to see some falloff at 10:30.

Previous timeslot occupant “How to Get Away With Murder,” one of the season’s breakout hits, averaged a 3.0 rating in 18-49 with its original episodes, with “Scandal” averaging a 3.2. Last night’s “Scandal” was on the low side (3.0/9 in 18-49, 9.6 million viewers overall), though it easily led its timeslot in 18-49.

Evidence of an older skew than “Murder,” “American Crime” retained nearly 90% of its “Scandal” lead-in among total viewers (8.4 million vs. 9.6 million) but just a little over 60% in adults 18-34 (1.4 vs. 2.3).

In Thursday’s leadoff hour, “Grey’s Anatomy” (2.4/8 in 18-49, 8.1 million viewers overall) bounced back 0.2 from its below-average score of last week to place second in 18-49.

Elsewhere, CBS had a big opening hour Thursday with “The Big Bang Theory” (4.7/16 in 18-49, 17.9 million viewers overall), which was up 0.2 from last week to log the show’s top demo rating since its second week of the season (on a Monday). And “The Odd Couple” followed with an 0.2 gain of its own (3.0/9 in 18-49, 12.5 million viewers overall), sweeping its timeslot and coming within a tenth of its premiere of two weeks ago (3.2).

“Odd Couple” will get one more Thursday airing before being preempted for two weeks by the net’s coverage of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament.

The Eye also grew week to week in the 9 o’clock hour with its repeat “The Big Bang Theory” (2.4/7 in 18-49, 10.5 million viewers overall) and original “Mom” (2.2/6 in 18-49, 9.5 million viewers overall), which combined for a second-place 18-49 finish while nearly catching “Scandal” in 25-54 (3.4 vs. 3.5). Closing the night, “Elementary” was down a bit from its prior original.

At Fox, “American Idol” (2.1/7 in 18-49, 9.3 million viewers overall) was in line with last week and placed third in 18-49 for the 8 o’clock hour. “Backstrom” (1.0/3 in 18-49, 3.9 million viewers overall) edged up a tick from the 0.9 it did the previous two weeks.

NBC again sagged at both 8 p.m. with “The Slap” (0.8/3 in 18-49, 3.9 million viewers overall) and at 10 p.m. with “Allegiance” (0.8/3 in 18-49, 3.4 million viewers overall), while “The Blacklist” (1.7/5 in 18-49, 8.0 million viewers overall) serving as the night’s tentpole. “Blacklist” was down 0.2 from last week and placed third for the 9 o’clock hour.

CW aired repeats of “The Vampire Diaries” (0.2/1 in 18-49, 0.7 million viewers overall) and “Supernatural” on a special night (0.2/1 in 18-49, 0.6 million viewers overall).

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: ABC and CBS, 2.5/8; Fox, 1.6/5; NBC, 1.1/3; CW, 0.2/1.

In total viewers: CBS, 10.9 million; ABC, 8.7 million; Fox, 6.6 million; NBC, 5.1 million; CW, 0.7 million.

 

 

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