‘Blacklist,’ ‘Agents of SHIELD’ Among Fall’s Brightest New Stars

NBC is the top network in adults 18-49 for a second straight week; CBS rolls in total viewers

Blacklist Agents Of Shield Standouts

There’s nothing that looks capable of becoming the next “Big Bang Theory” just yet, but the first two weeks of the new TV season have produced some promising results for rookie shows on the broadcast networks.

The Big Four could certainly use some new hits, and six first-year series ranked among the top 20 programs in adults 18-49 last week, according to Nielsen. These all could be found in the bottom half of the list, while the top half remains dominated by the likes of football, “Big Bang” and “The Voice.”

Among the week’s top 20 programs in adults 18-49, CBS led the way with six shows, followed by ABC (five), NBC (four) and Fox (two). In total viewers, CBS had 11 of the top 20 while ABC and CBS had four apiece.

NBC’s “The Blacklist,” ABC’s “Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD,” Fox’s “Sleepy Hollow” and CBS’ “The Crazy Ones” continue to look good in their timeslots despite declines from their premieres. In the case of “SHIELD,” its premiere two weeks ago was so big that even a rather steep falloff in its second week wasn’t too alarming.

Two more comedies, CBS’ “The Millers” on Thursday and ABC’s “Super Fun Night” on Wednesday, got off to good starts last week and will hope to minimize their week-two fall-offs.

Among networks, NBC won for a second straight week to start the season in adults 18-49, with CBS pulling into a tie in adults 25-54 and winning easily in total viewers. This is a pattern that emerged a year ago, with the Eye more competitive in demos in the weeks when it benefits from an NFL overrun.

Compared with last season’s opening two weeks in Live+ same-day 18-49 averages, NBC is up 4%, ABC is up 5%, CBS is flat, and Fox is down 17%. Combined, the four-net 18-49 average of 9.5 is down 2% from last year’s 9.7 — a deficit that could be erased when more DVR playback is included.

DVR playback is up 11% among adults 18-49 this fall (and 17% among all viewers), and we’ve already seen some record gains in time-shifting. Last week, within three days of their telecast, nine series delivered gains of at least 1.2 ratings points in 18-49, and the same number of shows grew by 3 million total viewers or more.

“Blacklist” impressed last week by gaining 1.6 ratings points in Live+ 3-day 18-49 rating (from 3.3 to 4.9), leaving it down just 4% in L3 from its premiere (4.9 vs. 5.1). And in total viewers, it surged by 5.08 million — the largest three-day lift that any broadcast series has ever delivered — to elevate its total from 11.35 million (as first reported the next day) to 16.43 million (down just 3% from 16.95 for its premiere L3 score).

CW premiered “The Vampire Diaries” and its spinoff “The Originals” to unspectacular numbers in same-day results last week, but they surged in L3 and are a great example of how a show’s year-over-year comparisons can change markedly when three days of playback is included.

“The Originals,” which will regularly air on Tuesdays, opened last Thursday with a 1.0/3 in 18-49 and 2.21 million viewers overall, numbers that were down by double-digits vs. the launch of “Beauty and the Beast” a year ago. But in L3, “Originals” is now showing improvement over “Beauty” in 18-49 (1.5 vs. 1.4) and 18-34 (1.5 vs. 1.3).

Looking at other new shows, ABC’s “Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD” (3.3/10 in 18-49, 8.66 million viewers overall) dropped 30% in 18-49 from its premiere in Live+same-day, with those losses trimmed to 25% in L3. Behind “SHIELD,” “The Goldbergs” (2.2/6 in 18-49, 6.06m) and “Trophy Wife” (1.4/4 in 18-49, 4.30m) saw sharp declines, and “Lucky 7” was put out of its misery a few days after its woeful week-two perf (0.7/2 in 18-49, 2.62m).

Wednesday comedy “Back in the Game” looked OK in its second week, down 14% in same-day 18-49 (1.9 vs. 2.2) and 8% in L3 (2.2 vs. 2.4).

At CBS, new Monday shows “Mom” (2.2/6 in 18-49, 7.00m) and “Hostages” (1.5/4 in 18-49, 5.96m) declined by 12% and 17%, respectively from their week-earlier premieres. “The Crazy Ones” (2.9/8 in 18-49, 11.71m) fell by 26% in 18-49 from its premiere, which benefited from a “Big Bang Theory” lead-in, but still provided timeslot improvement; in total viewers, it was the No. 1 first-year show of the week.

In its first week, “We Are Men” underwhelmed with a 2.0/6 in 18-49 on Monday.

NBC’s “Michael J. Fox Show” (1.7/5 in 18-49, 4.17m) dropped 23% from its week-earlier premiere, but is the best thing the net has going among its Thursday comedies. The net had three soft premieres last week: Wednesday drama “Ironside” (1.3/4 in 18-49, 6.81m) and Thursday half-hours “Welcome to the Family” (1.1/3 in 18-49, 2.99m) and “Sean Saves the World” (4.43m).

Fox’s shows have all aired three or four times by now, with “Sleepy Hollow” again the standout last week (3.0/8 in 18-49, 7.97m), contributing to huge gains on the night over last year (with “Mob Doctor”).

Fox’s “X Factor” nights of Wednesday and Thursday are down 25% through two weeks, as is Tuesday where new comedies “Dads” (1.3/4 in 18-49, 3.40m) and “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” (1.4/4 in 18-49, 3.43m) declined some more.

Among returning shows last week, CBS’ “The Big Bang Theory” (5.2/17 in 18-49, 18.22m) ruled in 18-49 among entertainment series, and will pass NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” (7.0/19 in 18-49, 17.69m) as tops among all shows with DVR playback.

ABC’s “Scandal” kicked off its third season with series highs (3.6/10 in 18-49, 10.52m), and NBC’s “Chicago Fire” (2.6/8 in 18-49, 8.74m) delivered a series-best 18-49 rating in L3 (3.6).

CBS’ “60 Minutes” was back near the top of the rankings in total viewers (17.94 million), getting a big boost from the end of the Denver-Dallas NFL game in much of the country (more than 35 million watched from 7-7:30 p.m. ET).

In cable, “Duck Dynasty” (3.4/10 in 18-49, 8.05m) ranked 10th among all primetime shows for the week in 18-49, and FX’s “Sons of Anarchy” made the top 30 (2.4/7 in 18-49, 4.60m).

In its second week, Showtime’s “Masters of Sex” grew to 1.09 million viewers, retaining 60% of its lead-in from “Homeland” (1.83 million), which dipped slightly from it season premiere.

At HBO, new 10:30 p.m. comedy “Hello, Ladies” drew just 410,000 in its second week, half of its “Eastbound and Down” lead-in (820,000). At 9, “Boardwalk Empire” attracted 2.09 million and was the night’s top-rated program on the premium cable networks.


Adults 18-49

NBC             2.8/8              (even vs. last year)
CBS              2.5/7              (up 4)
ABC              2.1/6             (up 5%)
Fox              1.8/5              (down 14%)
UNI              1.3/4              (down 7%)
CW               0.5/2              (up 25%)
TEL               0.4/1              (down 20%)

Total Viewers

CBS             10.44 million      (up 4%)
ABC              7.72 million       (down 4%)
NBC              7.51 million      (up 16%)
Fox               5.28 million       (down 9%)
UNI              3.35 million       (down 3%)
CW               1.37 million       (up 31%)
TEL               1.00 million       (down 9%)


Adults 18-49
1.  Sunday Night Football (NBC), 7.0/19
2.  Monday Night Football (ESPN), 5.6/16
3.  The Big Bang Theory (CBS), 5.2/17
4.  The Voice-Monday (NBC), 4.7/13
5.  The Voice-Tuesday (NBC), 4.5/13
6.  Modern Family (ABC), 4.2/12
7.  60 Minutes (CBS), 3.8/10
8.  Scandal (ABC), 3.6/10
9.  NCIS (CBS), 3.5/11
10.  Duck Dynasty (A&E), 3.4/10
11.  The Millers (CBS), 3.3/10
11.  Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD (ABC), 3.3/10
11.  The Blacklist (NBC), 3.3/09
14.  Super Fun Night (ABC), 3.2/09
15.  Grey’s Anatomy (ABC), 3.1/09
15.  How I Met Your Mother (CBS), 3.1/09
17.  Sleepy Hollow (Fox), 3.0/08
17.  The Simpsons (Fox), 3.0/08
19.  The Crazy Ones (CBS), 2.9/08
20.  Thursday Night Football (NFLN), 2.8/08

Total Viewers (in millions)
1.  NCIS (CBS), 19.98
2.  The Big Bang Theory (CBS), 18.22
3.  60 Minutes (CBS), 17.94
4.  Sunday Night Football (NBC), 15.09
5.  NCIS: Los Angeles (CBS), 15.09
6.  The Voice-Tuesday (NBC), 14.54
7.  The Voice-Monday (NBC), 14.12
8.  Monday Night Football (ESPN), 13.72
9.  Dancing With the Stars (ABC), 13.10
10.  The Millers (CBS), 13.09
11.  Person of Interest (CBS), 12.35
12.  The Crazy Ones (CBS), 11.71
13.  Blue Bloods (CBS), 11.37
14.  The Blacklist (NBC), 11.35
15.  Modern Family (ABC), 11.12
15.  Criminal Minds (CBS), 11.12
17.  Castle (ABC), 10.88
18.  Scandal (ABC), 10.52
19.  Survivor (CBS), 10.16
20.  Hawaii Five-0 (CBS), 9.75