Weekly Ratings: ‘NCIS,’ Two Spinoffs Hit Season Highs; ‘American Idol’ Solid in Return

American Idol NCIS Ratings NBC
Courtesy of CBS/FOX

Season-high numbers for a crossover storyline involving “NCIS” and “NCIS: New Orleans” boosted CBS, while a nice final-season start for “American Idol’ propelled Fox as the networks conspired to knock NBC off its ratings perch in the first full week of the new year.

The adults 18-49 averages for CBS and Fox, which tied for the week’s lead, were boosted by NFL playoff action over the weekend. CBS aired the week’s No. 1 primetime program in Saturday’s game between Pittsburgh and Cincinnati (10.1 rating/32 share in adults 18-49, 31.23 million viewers overall), which currently stands as the season’s most-watched primetime telecast, while Fox benefited from a roughly 70-minute overrun for the conclusion of its Sunday game between Green Bay and Washington.

CBS, which also dominated the week in total viewers, had five of its crime series hit season highs in demos, including all three “NCIS” series. The Tuesday crossover between “NCIS” (2.7/9 in 18-49, 18.97 million viewers overall) and “NCIS: New Orleans” (2.5/8 in 18-49, 17.25 million viewers overall) produced big spikes over the prior originals for the shows, with both ranking in the week’s top 10 in 18-49 while standing as the two most-watched scripted telecasts of the week, according to Nielsen.

On Friday, “Hawaii Five-0” hit a season high of its own, moving ahead of ABC’s “Shark Tank” for the first time, and “Blue Bloods” matched its high (1.4/5 in 18-49, 10.85 million viewers overall). They seemed to mesh well with lead-in “Undercover Boss” (1.2/4 in 18-49, 6.93 million viewers overall), which was making its time period debut.

On the down side for the Eye, the “People’s Choice Awards” (1.3/4 in 18-49, 6.03 million viewers overall) took a tumble, down more than 20% for the second consecutive year.

At Fox, “American Idol” (3.0/10 in 18-49, 10.96 million viewers overall) had a stout premiere Wednesday, winning the night and within 0.2 of its hourlong bow of a year ago when it was paired with “Empire.” And the strong unscripted numbers that night as well as Thursday (2.7/9 in 18-49, 10.21 million) for another two-hour “Idol” may have helped bring more viewers to Friday’s “MasterChef Junior” (1.4/5 in 18-49, 4.49 million viewers overall), which hit a season high and tied as the night’s top program in young adults.

And following a big NFL playoff overrun, “The Simpsons” spiked to a season high (3.6/10 in 18-49, 8.33 million viewers overall). New comedies “Cooper Barrett’s Guide to Surviving Life” (2.1/6 in 18-49, 4.57 million viewers overall) and “Bordertown” (1.5/4 in 18-49, 3.58 million viewers overall) benefited by the stronger push leading off the night, up 75% and 36% respectively from their soft preems of one week earlier without any significant football push.

ABC had good news Monday with the season premiere of “The Bachelor” (2.2/7 in 18-49, 7.55 million viewers overall), which matched its year-ago opener, and Wednesday with its second-season debut of “American Crime” (1.2/4 in 18-49, 4.74 million viewers overall), which matched the top score in the hour during the fall with “Nashville”; the “American Crime” episode had also been available to viewers for free for several weeks before its premiere. The network’s comedy block was strong, meanwhile, including a best-since-premiere result for “Black-ish” (2.1/6 in 18-49, 6.29 million viewers overall).

Overall, though, ABC was weighed down by tiny numbers for filler series “My Diet Is Better Than Yours” on Thursday (0.7/2 in 18-49, 2.42 million viewers overall) and “Galavant” on Sunday (0.6/2 in 18-49, 2.41 million viewers overall).

NBC had a pair of solid series launches with Monday’s “Superstore” (1.8/6 in 18-49, 6.04 million viewers overall) and Thursday’s “Shades of Blue” (1.8/6 in 18-49, 8.55 million viewers overall). The former became the network’s top comedy premiere without a lead-in from “The Voice” in more than two years, and the latter stood as the net’s top Thursday-at-10 debut in nearly four years.

“Shades of Blue” was also a good gainer in Live +3 estimates, according to Nielsen. It grew by 58% in adults 18-49 (1.81 to 2.86) and by 3.9 million total viewers (8.6 million to 12.5 million) — the third biggest lift ever for an NBC series premiere, behind only “Blindspot” (4.59 million) and “The Blacklist” (4.36 million).

The Peacock also scored last week with its first three-show crossover involving “Chicago Fire”‘ (1.8/6 in 18-49, 7.43 million viewers overall), “Chicago Med” (1.9/6 in 18-49, 8.39 million viewers overall) and “Chicago PD” (1.9/6 in 18-49, 8.75 million viewers overall). “Fire” and “Med” remained potent even without help from “The Voice,” while “PD” delivered its top demo rating since November 2014 and its second largest overall audience to date.

Of note in cable, Spike scored Thursday with the second-season premiere of “Lip Sync Battle” (1.4 in 18-49, 2.5 million viewers overall), which went on to become the network’s most-watched series telecast ever in Live+3.

VH1 had the week’s top cable series in 18-49 with Monday’s “Love & Hip-Hop” (1.6), and used it to lead in to original movie “The Breaks” (0.95 in 18-49, 1.81 million viewers overall). Combined with an encore, 2.6 million watched the story of three young friends setting out to fulfill their hip-hop dreams in 1990 New York City.

Fox News Channel was the most-watched cable network in both primetime (1.97 million) and total-day (1.22 million). “The O’Reilly Factor” averaged over 3 million and nearly 500,000 adults 25-54 for its five airings.

 

WEEK’S TOP NETWORKS
(Jan. 10-16, 2016; live plus same-day)

Adults 18-49 (rating/share)
CBS ……………………  2.6/9
Fox …………………….  2.6/9
NBC …………………..  1.9/6
ABC ……………………  1.1/4
UNI ……………………  0.9/3
TEL ……………………  0.6/2
TBS ……………………  0.6/2
DISC ………………….  0.6/2
USA ……………………  0.5/2
ESPN ………………….  0.5/2

Total Viewers (in millions)
CBS ……………………  12.10
Fox …………………….   8.21
NBC …………………..   7.46
ABC ……………………  4.35
UNI ……………………  2.29
FNC ……………………  1.97
DISC ………………….  1.85
TEL ……………………  1.69
TBS ……………………  1.66
HGTV ………………..  1.64

WEEK’S TOP PROGRAMS
(Jan. 10-16, 2016; live plus same-day)

Adults 18-49 (rating/share)
1.  NFL Wild-Card Playoffs-Saturday: Pittsburgh-Cincinnati (CBS), 10.1/32
2.  73rd Annual Golden Globe Awards (NBC), 5.5/16
3.  The Big Bang Theory (CBS), 3.8/13
4.  The Simpsons (Fox), 3.6/10
5.  American Idol-Wednesday (Fox), 3.0/10
6.  Modern Family (ABC), 2.8/9
7.  American Idol-Thursday (Fox), 2.7/9
7.  NCIS (CBS), 2.7/9
9.  NCIS: New Orleans (CBS), 2.5/8
10.  The Bachelor (ABC), 2.2/7
10.  Scorpion (CBS), 2.2/6
12.  Life in Pieces (CBS), 2.1/7
12.  The Middle (ABC), 2.1/7
12.  The Goldbergs (ABC), 2.1/7
12.  Black-ish (ABC), 2.1/6
12.  Cooper Barrett’s Guide to Surviving Life (Fox), 2.1/6
17.  Supergirl (CBS), 1.9/6
17.  Chicago PD (NBC), 1.9/6
17.  Chicago Med (NBC), 1.9/6
20.  Mom (CBS), 1.8/6
20.  Shades of Blue (NBC), 1.8/6
20.  Law & Order: SVU (NBC), 1.8/6
20.  Chicago Fire (NBC), 1.8/6
20.  Superstore (NBC), 1.8/6
20.  Family Guy (Fox), 1.8/5

Total Viewers (in millions)
1.  NFL Wild-Card Playoffs-Saturday: Pittsburgh-Cincinnati (CBS), 31.23
2.  NCIS (CBS), 18.97
3.  73rd Annual Golden Globe Awards (NBC), 18.51
4.  NCIS: New Orleans (CBS), 17.25
5.  The Big Bang Theory (CBS), 15.85
6.  Scorpion (CBS), 11.67
7.  American Idol-Wednesday (Fox), 10.96
8.  Blue Bloods (CBS), 10.85
9.  NCIS: Los Angeles (CBS), 10.51
10.  American Idol-Thursday (Fox), 10.21
11.  Hawaii Five-0 (CBS), 9.41
12.  Life in Pieces (CBS), 9.27
13.  Madam Secretary (CBS), 8.97
14.  Chicago PD (NBC), 8.75
14.  Supergirl (CBS), 8.75
16.  Mom (CBS), 8.71
17.  Shades of Blue (NBC), 8.55
18.  Chicago Med (NBC), 8.39
19.  Modern Family (ABC), 8.35
20.  The Simpsons (Fox), 8.33

Source: Nielsen

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