Most of primetime’s entertainment series had wrapped up the year prior to last week’s holiday frame, but two newcomers that stuck around — Fox’s “The X Factor” and FX’s “American Horror Story” — finished their seasons on a strong note.
One that didn’t, however, was Fox’s “Terra Nova,” whose fate is very much up in the air heading into the new year.
The costly dinosaur drama from exec producer Steven Spielberg averaged a 2.2/6 in adults 18-49 and 7.24 million viewers overall for its two-hour finale, according to same-night estimates from Nielsen. The show, which started as a solid performer in September, drifted downward over the second half of fall, but it’s still neck and neck with ABC’s “Revenge” and CBS’ “Person of Interest” as the season’s No. 2 new drama in 18-49 (behind ABC’s “Once Upon a Time”).
Because “Terra Nova” needs more time to produce episodes than typical dramas, Fox likely needs to make a decision soon for the show to return next fall.
Definitely coming back next year are “X Factor” and “American Horror Story,” with the latter hitting a same-night series high in its finale on Wednesday (1.7/5 in 18-49, 3.22 million viewers overall) and finishing as FX’s highest-rated first-year series; the net then announced that “Horror” will function as a seasonal anthology, with future seasons featuring new stories, settings, themes and characters.
As for “The X Factor,” the Simon Cowell-fronted skein never blossomed into the megahit that many had expected it to be, but it beat out vets like ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars” and CBS’ “Survivor” as fall’s No. 1 reality show in 18-49. It helped Fox score big gains on Wednesday (up 48%) and Thursday (up 46%) and finish fall tied with CBS for first place in the demo.
Net also points to the program’s young, diverse audience: It ranks second among new series (behind Fox’s “New Girl”) in both teens 12-17 and Hispanics 18-49 and emerged as the season’s No. 1 entertainment series among African-Americans 18-49.
In Thursday’s finale, “X Factor” averaged a 3.8/11 in 18-49 and 12.59 million viewers overall, standing as the week’s No. 1 nonsports program in the demo.
Overall last week, it was NBC that claimed victory in key demos as well as total viewers. As typically happens around the New Year as most series are preempted or in repeats, the net moves to the lead thanks to “Sunday Night Football.”
In adults 18-49 for the Dec. 19-25 sesh, NBC, with its 2.2 rating/7 share, was well ahead of Fox (1.7/5), ESPN (1.5/4), CBS (1.4/4) and ABC and Univision (both at 1.3/4). The Peacock also prevailed in adults 25-54 (2.7/7) and even topped CBS in total viewers (7.2 million to 6.9 million).
NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” was the No. 1 program of the week with its Christmas night matchup between the rival Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears (7.7/23 in 18-49, 24.02m), and ESPN’s “Monday Night Football” finale ranked second (6.4/19, 16.68m for Pittsburgh-San Francisco).
Also for the Peacock, the four-night launch of gameshow “Who’s Still Standing?” delivered OK results, with Tuesday’s perf the best (1.9/6, 5.84m); and the second week of “Fear Factor” took a slide (2.5/6, 6.37m), though it still beat out Fox’s “Terra Nova” head-to-head in 18-49.
NBC was also boosted by repeat Christmas specs: “SNL Presents: A Very Gilly Christmas” on Tuesday (2.1/6, 5.79m) and movie perennial “It’s a Wonderful Life” on Christmas Eve (1.5/5, 4.83m).
Fox didn’t have a whole lot happening outside of “X Factor” and “Terra Nova,” but its new Wednesday half-hour “I Hate My Teenage Daughter” edged up (2.0/6, 5.78m) opposite repeat competish on rival nets.
CBS and ABC garnered their best demo numbers from comedy repeats, with the former led by “The Big Bang Theory” (2.6/8, 9.28m) and “2 Broke Girls” (2.6/7, 7.20m) and the latter by “Modern Family” (2.2/6, 6.40m).