×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘Idol,’ football power big Fox week

But top comedies don't cower opposite music competition

Fox’s “American Idol” returned to wreak havoc on the competition last week, but TV’s hottest comedies — ABC’s “Modern Family” and CBS’ “The Big Bang Theory” — emerged unscathed from their first head-to-head battles.

As it kicks off its 11th season, “Idol” looked a bit more mortal. Nielsen estimates that Wednesday’s two-hour opener averaged a 7.4 rating/19 share in adults 18-49 and 21.93 million viewers overall (down 23% in the demo from last year) and Thursday’s premiere hour (5.7/15, 18.02m) was off 27%.

Even with its weakest start since its initial run in summer 2002, “American Idol” accounted for the week’s three top programs among young adults (including Sunday’s post-football special).

Biggest news during “Idol” premiere week, though, was the strong tune-in for both “Modern” and “Bang.” Though each is among the biggest gainers in DVR playback (the ABC show is No. 1), auds showed up on their premiere nights last week even with the tougher competish from Fox.

“Big Bang” (5.3/15 in 18-49, 15.83m) became the first regular in-season series to top “Idol” head-to-head in 18-49 (5.3 to 5.2), up 26% vs. a year ago when “Idol” crushed it (7.0 to 4.2). And “Modern Family” (5.1/12, 11.89m) grew year-to-year by 11%. Both shows impressively matched their week-earlier scores.

Still, Fox dominated last week like no net has this season thanks to the combo of “Idol,” a good start for Monday drama “Alcatraz” (3.3/8, 10.05m) and a monster Sunday football game (21.4/47, 57.63m for Giants-49ers). Its 7.7/19 in 18-49 was more than the other five broadcast networks combined: 2.1/5 for both ABC and CBS, 1.5/4 for NBC, 1.4/4 for Univision and 0.5/1 for CW.

The huge frame helped Fox leap-frog CBS for the season lead in 18-49, which should hold up even with a softer “Idol.”

At CBS, Thursday stayed strong post-“Big Bang” with week two of “Rob” (3.5/9, 11.41m) and the above-average “Person of Interest” (3.2/8, 14.40m) and “The Mentalist” (3.0/8, 14.22m). Also hot were Wednesday’s “Criminal Minds” (3.2/8, 13.00m, up vs. last year against “Idol”) and “CSI” (2.8/7, 12.02m).

At ABC, “Modern Family” lead-out “Happy Endings” (2.9/7, 6.06m) was up 21% vs. “Cougar Town” a year ago. Also, Tuesday laffer “Last Man Standing” was up (2.6/7, 8.59m) and Sunday’s “Once Upon a Time” (3.2/7, 9.33m) was solid vs. football.

NBC surged Monday with “Betty White’s 90th Birthday” special (2.7/7, 13.86m), and rookie drama “Grimm” shined on Friday (1.8/5, 5.92m). Not so hot is “The Firm” (3.42m), whose second Thursday seg ran eighth in 18-49 at 10 o’clock.”Drew Peterson: Untouchable,” starring Rob Lowe, was TV’s No. 1 primetime show Saturday (1.7/5, 5.77m) and the most-watched cable telepic in two years.

TNT scored big with Thursday’s Heat-Lakers NBA game (2.0/6, 4.40m); FX’s “Archer” was solid kicking off its third season (1.31m) even opposite hoops action; Science’s season preem of “An Idiot Abroad 2: The Bucket List,” featuring Ricky Gervais, was the net’s top telecast ever in 18-49 (480,000) and 25-54 (538,000); Bravo’s “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” hit season highs Monday (1.3/3, 2.76m); and Nickelodeon’s “iCarly” on Saturday was cable’s most-watched non-sports telecast (4.84m).

In another big week on the political front, Fox News moved up to second among cablers in total viewers (2.4 million).

More TV

  • Natalie Morales76th Annual Golden Globe Awards,

    Natalie Morales to Exit 'Access Hollywood' and 'Access Live' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Natalie Morales is bowing out of NBC’s “Access Hollywood” and “Access Live” after three years as co-host of the daily entertainment news programs. Morales will continue working for NBC News as West Coast anchor for “Today” and as a correspondent for “Dateline.” Her departure comes a month after “Access” underwent an executive producer shuffle with [...]

  • CBS News Sets Global 'Earth Matters'

    CBS News Sets Global 'Earth Matters' Reporting Effort for Earth Day

    CBS News is sending correspondents to far corners of the earth for an all-day “Earth Matters” reporting effort to kick off Monday on “CBS This Morning.” To coincide with Earth Day, five correspondents will be spread among five continents to offer in-depth reports on environmental issues and the politics in the U.S. surrounding the response [...]

  • JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE: GAME NIGHT -

    Jimmy Kimmel Sets 'All in the Family,' 'The Jeffersons' Live Special on ABC

    Jimmy Kimmel’s long-gestating live sitcom special is finally coming to fruition. Kimmel announced Thursday night on his ABC late-night show that the special, which was first announced in May 2017, will air Wednesday, May 22, from 8-9:30 p.m. ET. The special will see a cast of celebrity guests recreating two classic episodes of the sitcoms [...]

  • WGA Agency Packaging Fight Placeholder Writer

    WGA: 92% of Writers Who Signed Statement of Support Have Fired Agents

    The Writers Guild of America estimated that over 92% of their members who support a new code of conduct for talent agencies have fired those representatives. Letters announcing formal termination will be delivered on Monday, the guild said in a late-hitting memo on Thursday, as most agencies will be closed tomorrow in observance of Good [...]

  • The Village

    NBC Swaps Timeslots of Freshman Drama 'The Village,' 'The Voice' on Tuesdays

    NBC is changing the timeslots of Tuesday shows “The Voice” and “The Village.” Up to this point, freshman scripted drama “The Village” has aired at 9 p.m. ET Tuesdays immediately after “The Voice” at 8 p.m. Beginning April 23, “The Village” will air at 8 followed by “The Voice” at 9. The schedule will remain [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content