Ratings: Fox’s ‘Last Man on Earth’ Stands Out with Solid Sunday Start

On a busy Sunday that marked the beginning of the networks’ spring lineup rollouts, Fox had the best news as its hourlong premiere of comedy “Last Man on Earth” stood as the night’s top-rated broadcast in young adults. ABC did decently with its two-hour launch of “Secrets and Lies,” but it was a sluggish start for CBS’ “Battle Creek.

It’s been a mostly tough year for new comedies, but Fox’s “Last Man on Earth” impressed on Sunday (2.3 rating/6 share in adults 18-49, 5.7 million viewers overall), building by 28% in the demo from its “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” lead-in (1.8/5 in 18-49, 3.6 million viewers overall) and putting Fox ahead of its rivals on the night.

The post-apocalyptic comedy starring Will Forte edged out ABC’s “Once Upon a Time” as the night’s top Big Four series in 18-49, 18-34 (1.8/6) and all key male demos. And viewers liked what they saw, as the 9:30 p.m. half-hour did the same rating as the 9 o’clock half-hour.

Among Fox comedy premieres, “Last Man” more than doubled “Mulaney” from last fall (1.0) and it’s the best 18-49 score since “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” in September 2013, and the best in men 18-49 (2.8/8) since “New Girl” in September 2011. Roughly 61% of the 18-49 audience for “Last Man” last night was male.

Among the 13 comedy premieres this season, “Last Man” ties with NBC’s “Marry Me” as the fourth biggest in 18-49 — behind ABC’s “Black-ish” (3.3), CBS’ “The Odd Couple” (3.1) and ABC’s “Fresh Off the Boat” (2.5).

The arrival of “Last Man on Earth” seemed to rejuvenate Fox’s other comedies, as “Bob’s Burgers” in its new 7:30 p.m. timeslot (1.4/4 in 18-49, 3.0 million viewers overall), “The Simpsons” (1.8/5 in 18-49, 4.0 million viewers overall) and “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” (1.8/5 in 18-49, 3.0 million viewers overall) were  up sharply from their prior originals (which aired against NBC’s highly rated “SNL Anniversary” special).

At ABC, the “Once Upon a Time” special “Secrets of Storybrook” (1.3/4 in 18-49, 4.4 million viewers overall) led into the spring premiere of “Once Upon a Time” (2.2/6 in 18-49, 6.6 million viewers overall), which outperformed its final three episodes of 2014. And from 9 to 11 p.m., the Ryan Philippe-fronted miniseries “Secrets and Lies” averaged a solid 1.5/4 in 18-49 while drawing about 5.9 million viewers overall.

ABC fared much better with the premiere of the high-concept “Resurrection” on the comparable night a year ago (3.8 in 18-49, 13.9 million), but last night’s 1.5 rating for the time period is better than the combo of “Resurrection” and “Revenge” produced since the second Sunday of the TV season (Oct. 5). And in a good sign, it held the same 1.5 rating in each half-hour and peaked in total viewers at 10:30 p.m. with nearly 6.2 million.

Starting next week, “Secrets and Lies” airs at 9 p.m., followed by the return of “Revenge.”

“60 Minutes” led the way for CBS (1.6/5 in 18-49, 13.3 million viewers overall), followed by the spring premieres of “Madam Secretary” (1.3/4 in 18-49, 11.4 million viewers overall) and “The Good Wife” (1.1/3 in 18-49, 7.8 million viewers overall), both of which returned to their lowest scores to date. And that made things tough for “Battle Creek” (1.0/3 in 18-49, 7.8 million viewers overall), which did manage to hold nearly all of its lead-in audience and maintained its demo rating in its second half-hour even if it does come in as the TV season’s lowest-rated drama bow in 18-49 (a tick behind Fox’s “Gracepoint” and NBC’s “The Slap” and “Allegiance”).

In demos, “Battle Creek,” starring Josh Duhamel and Dean Winters as mismatched law enforcement officers in Battle Creek, Mich., was in the line with the most recent original of “CSI” to air Sunday at 10. And in total viewers, it was up some (from 7.1 million for “CSI”).

CBS dominated the night in total viewers, claiming the four most-watched shows on broadcast.

NBC, which doesn’t launch its Sunday spring lineup until April, filled the night with a two-hour repeat of “The Voice” (1.2/4 in 18-49, 5.1 million viewers overall) and a special “Dateline” from 9 to 11 (0.8/2 in 18-49, 3.9 million viewers overall).

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: Fox, 1.8/5; ABC, 1.6/5; CBS, 1.2/4; NBC and Univision, 1.0/3; Telemundo, 0.3/1.

In total viewers: CBS, 10.4 million; ABC, 5.7 million; NBC, 4.5 million; Fox, 4.1 million; Univision, 2.7 million; Telemundo, 0.7 million.

 

 

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