×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

ABC in the end zone

NBC's 'Surface,' new Eye laffers lift Monday

An NFL “Monday Night Football” doubleheader helped ABC kick off the season a winner while CBS placed second as it began life after “Everybody Loves Raymond.”

Among new shows, NBC’s “Surface” opened pretty well, and CBS comedies “How I Met Your Mother” and “Out of Practice” looked OK, but it was a tepid beginning for Fox laffer “Kitchen Confidential” and a very weak start for the WB’s drama “Just Legal.”

Overall, it was a somewhat quiet night for the opening Monday of the season, with the broadcast nets commanding a 54 share of the adults 18-49 aud compared with 57 last year.

According to Nielsen, ABC ruled primetime with a 6.2/16 in adults 18-49 to a 5.0/12 for CBS and a solid 4.3/11 for NBC’s drama lineup. The Alphabet also led in adults 25-54 (7.0/17) and total viewers with 15.8 million.

ABC was aided by a second NFL game (Giants-Saints) that resulted from the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. (Game started on ABC at 7:30 p.m. ET, then shifted to ESPN at halftime so ABC could air its regularly skedded Redskins-Cowboys game at 9.)

Net significantly improved its perf in the 8 o’clock hour (5.3/16 in 18-49, 13.64m), winning easily in a slot that’s usually occupied by “Wife Swap.” But its regular game was on the low side (6.5/17 in 18-49, 16.10m), affected by the 4.2 million viewers who were watching the conclusion of the other game on ESPN.

Alphabet’s opening-hour strength probably took a toll on the entertainment series there, although NBC’s “Surface” opened well (3.8/10 in 18-49, 11.18m), finishing in a virtual 18-49 tie with CBS comedies “King of Queens” (3.6/10, 10.74m) and the new “How I Met Your Mother” (3.9/10, 10.94m).

“Surface” was down a bit from “Fear Factor” in the hour a year ago, but NBC has to be happy with its start, as it moved into second behind football in its second half-hour. And the CBS laffers were an improvement over the combo of “Still Standing” and “Listen Up” last year.

“How I Met Your Mother” built by 16% on “King” in women 18-34 rating (3.6 vs. 3.1), an aud CBS was hoping to tap into with its 20-something romantic comedy.

Fox struggled in the opening hour with “Arrested Development” (2.0/6 in 18-49, 4.62m) and the premiere of “Kitchen Confidential” (2.0/5, 4.33m), the latter of which placed fifth in 18-49.

That had to have some effect on “Prison Break,” which fell off some in its fourth episode (3.8/9 in 18-49, 7.96m), beaten by NBC’s returning “Las Vegas” (4.6/11 in 18-49, 12.49m). “Vegas” was off just 2% year-to-year and pulled into second place in the key demo at 9:30.

Despite an improved 8 o’clock hour, CBS saw year-to-year drop-off as expected at 9, where “Two and a Half Men” (5.1/12 in 18-49, 15.04m) slipped 14% behind last year’s “Everybody Loves Raymond” preem in the slot. And at 9:30, the new “Out of Practice” (4.3/10, 13.18m) held a decent 84% of its “Men” lead-in, placing third in demos and second in total viewers.

Hour also saw a feeble showing for Jerry Bruckheimer drama “Just Legal” on the WB (1.1/3 in 18-49, 3.44m), which held about half of its 18-49 and 18-34 lead-in from “7th Heaven” (2.0/5 in 18-49, 5.42m). “Heaven” was down 20% year-to-year in 18-49.

UPN’s comedy block of all returning series performed nicely, racking up its best scores among 18-49 (1.7/4) and total viewers (4 million) since November 2003. “Girlfriends” led the way at 9 (1.9/4, 4.19m), and “All of Us” looked perky at 8:30 (1.8/5, 4.25m), drawing the net’s largest share of the night.

Compared with the opening Monday a year ago, UPN was up 33% in adults 18-34 (2.0 to 1.5), besting the WB head-to-head in their target demo (2.0/5 to 1.6/4).

Closing out the night, CBS drama “CSI: Miami” opened its fourth season as the highest-rated program (6.7/16 in 18-49, 19.21m), although it was down 19% from its hot start of a year ago.

NBC’s competing crime drama “Medium” (4.5/11, 12.69m) likely cut into “CSI: Miami,” as the former repped a big 45% improvement over “LAX” in the hour a year ago (3.1/8).

Each adults 18-49 ratings point this season reps 1.3 million viewers. Each adults 25-54 ratings point reps 1.22 million viewers.

More TV

  • Pete Davidson Sits Out Final 'Saturday

    Pete Davidson Sits Out Final 'Saturday Night Live' Sketches of 2018

    Just hours after “Saturday Night Live” cast member Pete Davidson posted a message on social media that said he “really [didn’t] want to be on this Earth anymore,” he was absent from the final 2018 live sketches of the late-night sketch comedy show. But although Davidson did not take part in the sketches or appear [...]

  • Pete Davidson photographed by Peggy Sirota

    Pete Davidson Posts Unsettling Message, Deletes Instagram

    UPDATED: “Saturday Night Live” cast member Pete Davidson posted a disturbing message Saturday morning stating he doesn’t “want to be on this earth anymore,” then deleted his Instagram account. In the post, Davidson wrote, “I’m doing my best to stay here for you but i actually don’t know how much longer i can last. all [...]

  • Disney Channel Fires 'Andi Mack' Actor

    Disney Channel Fires 'Andi Mack' Actor Arrested for Plotting Sex With Minor

    Disney Channel has severed ties with “Andi Mack” actor Stoney Westmoreland following his arrest for allegedly trying to arrange a sexual encounter with a 13-year-old. “Stoney Westmoreland, an actor working on the series ‘Andi Mack,’ was arrested in Salt Lake City today,” a Disney Channel spokesperson said in a statement Friday. “Given the nature of [...]

  • Russian Doll

    TV News Roundup: Natasha Lyonne's 'Russian Doll' Sets Netflix Premiere Date

    On Friday’s roundup, Netflix announces the premiere date for “Russian Doll” and Benedict Cumberbatch’s “Brexit” film has a premiere date on HBO FIRST LOOKS Showtime has released a new teaser for the upcoming comedy series, “Black Monday,” which will premiere Sunday, Jan. 20 at 10 p.m. ET/PT. The series stars and is executive produced by Don [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content