The new year’s first big wave of new programming and premieres commenced Monday, with the CBS drama lineup returning strong and NBC officially launching comedy “Superstore,” which bowed in its regular timeslot with promising numbers. ABC kicked off its latest season of “The Bachelor” on par or up slightly vs. last year in key categories, winning its two-hour block in young adults over competition that included Fox’s soft special “Superhuman.”
According to preliminary national estimates from Nielsen, NBC, “Superstore” averaged a 1.7/6 in 18-49 and 6 million viewers overall in the 8 o’clock half-hour in its regular timeslot debut, finishing just a tick behind CBS’ second-place “Supergirl” in 18-49 for its timeslot. The show came within 0.3 of its preview score when aired behind “The Voice” in late November and more than doubled the 0.8 it did for an un-promoted original airing at 9 p.m. last Monday. The 1.7 is the highest regular-timeslot comedy result for an NBC comedy that didn’t have a lead-in from “The Voice” since “The Michael J. Fox Show” in September 2013.
“Superstore” was followed by the timeslot premiere of another new comedy, “Telenovela,” which averaged a 1.3/4 in 18-49 and 4.5 million viewers overall, retaining 76% of its lead-in. The 1.3 rating is just a tick below what the Eva Longoria-fronted half-hour did with its special post-“Voice” preview about a month ago and was more than double the 0.6 that last week’s unpromoted episode did at 9:30.
NBC has to be pretty pleased with these results, especially “Superstore.” The net has been unable to generate much interest in its comedies, but last night’s ratings, along with solid numbers for “The Carmichael Show” last summer, offer some hope.
Also for the Peacock last night, the season premiere of “The Biggest Loser” averaged a 1.2/4 in 18-49 and 3.8 million viewers overall from 9 to 11 p.m. This is about what the weight-loss show, which has faded in recent years, averaged on Thursdays last season.
At CBS, which won Monday in 18-49, 25-54 and total viewers, “Supergirl” (1.8/6 in 18-49, 8.8 million viewers overall), “Scorpion” (2.1/6 in 18-49, 11.5 million viewers overall) and “NCIS: Los Angeles” (1.6/5 in 18-49, 10.5 million viewers overall) all surged vs. their prior originals. “Supergirl” spiked 20% in 18-49 for its top score since Nov. 16 (and is looking likely to round up to a 1.9 in the finals), while “Scorpion” matched its highest demo ratings since its season premiere in September and was the night’s most-watched program overall. “NCIS: Los Angeles” scored its best 18-49 rating since last April and its largest overall audience since last March.
CBS didn’t have to face any firstrun drama competition on the Big Four last night, and this was also the first time this season that its male-friendly lineup didn’t oppose ESPN’s “Monday Night Football.” The Eye dominated the night in male categories, topping runner-up Fox by 55% in men 18-49 (1.7 vs. 1.1) and 60% in men 25-54 (2.4 vs. 1.5), and each of its series won their timeslots in key male demos.
ABC’s “The Bachelor,” featuring former “The Bachelorette” contestant Ben Higgins as the single guy choosing among 25 gals, averaged a 2.2/7 share in adults 18-49 and 7.5 million viewers overall, matching its year-ago 18-49 score and up a tick in adults 18-34 (2.1/8). It beat out the CBS dramas for the 8-10 p.m. lead among adults 18-49 while dominating as expected in the key femme demos of 18-49 (3.2/9), 25-54 (3.7/9) and 18-34 (3.1/11).
The 2.2 rating in 18-49 for “The Bachelor” bests every rating during the fall for the net’s “Dancing With the Stars,” which peaked with a 2.1 and had to face NBC’s tough “The Voice.” The dating show was followed last night by the debut of hourlong post-show “Bachelor Live” (1.1/3 in 18-49, 4.2 million viewers overall), which didn’t show great retention but nonetheless roughly equaled the average for “Castle” in the 10 p.m. slot during the fall. “Bachelor Live” will air a few more times, with “Castle” set to return on Feb. 1.
At Fox, “Superhuman” averaged a 1.2/4 in 18-49 and 3.6 million viewers overall from 8 to 10 p.m., delivering pretty much the same demo rating from start to finish. It skewed slightly female in 18-34 and 18-49 while delivering the same rating in both genders among teens and adults 25-54. The net’s “X-Files” reboot and new drama “Lucifer” make their Monday debuts in three weeks.
CW aired repeats of alternative series “Whose Line Is It Anyway” (0.5/2 in 18-49, 1.6 million viewers overall at 8; 0.4/1 in 18-49, 1.5 million viewers overall at 8:30) and “Penn & Teller: Fool Us” (0.4/1 in 18-49, 1.3 million viewers overall). The combo delivered higher numbers than Monday regulars “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” and “Jane the Virgin,” which return return Jan. 25.