×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Robin Williams’ Return to TV Draws 15.5 Million for CBS

'Crazy Ones' easily tops Michael J. Fox's return to NBC; 'Glee,' 'Grey's' down opposite big bows

UPDATE: The gap between the new comedies closed a bit in the 18-49 nationals, as “The Crazy Ones” edged down (to 3.9/11, 15.52 million viewers overall) and “The Michael J, Fox Show” ticked up (2.2/6, 7.50 million). “The Big Bang Theory” grew to a 5.8/18 for its regular 8 p.m. slot and then a 6.1/18 for its special episode at 8:30 p.m., which drew the show’s largest ever audience of 20.44 million. Fox’s “The X Factor” was up a tick in the nationals (2.1/6, 6.47m).

 

With a big assist from megahit “The Big Bang Theory,” Robin Williams’ “The Crazy Ones” on CBS easily topped Michael J. Fox’s new NBC show in Thursday’s comedy collision.

Williams and Fox aren’t scheduled to meet on a regular basis this fall, but their premieres went head-to-head last night, and it was no contest.

Nielsen estimates that the extended, seventh-season premiere of “The Big Bang Theory” did a whopping 5.6 rating/17 share in adults 18-49 and 18.9 million viewers overall from 8 to 9 p.m., funneling plenty of eyeballs into “The Crazy Ones,” which opened well with a 4.0/11 in the demo and 15.6 million viewers overall.

“Crazy,” in which Williams plays a Chicago ad exec, is the season’s No. 2 new series in demos (behind ABC’s “Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD”) and No. 1 in total viewers.

The combo of “Crazy Ones” at 9 and veteran “Two and a Half Men” in its new timeslot at 9:30 (2.9/8 in 18-49, 11.5 million viewers overall) provided CBS with nice timeslot improvement in key demos over last year’s drama, “Person of Interest.”

The Eye carried the night in key demos and won easily in total viewers.

Over at NBC, the hourlong premiere of “Parks and Recreation” couldn’t muster much opposite “Big Bang,” earning a 1.3/4 in 18-49 and 3.3 million viewers overall. “The Michael J, Fox Show” followed at 9 with a 2.1/6 in 18-49 and 7.3 million viewers overall, growing sharply over its lead-in.

Michael J. Fox” placed third in 18-49 for the 9 o’clock hour, and was a slight improvement over last year’s 9-10 p.m. comedy combo of “The Office” and “Parks and Recreation,” which averaged a 1.9/5 in 18-49 and less than 4 million total viewers. “MJF” drew the same 2.1 rating in both the 9 and 9:30 p.m. half-hours, indicating that it either held the audience it had or, more likely, lost some but picked up others who were watching “Crazy Ones.”

The look of the night changes next week when both CBS and NBC air their regular comedy schedules. CBS is slotting newbie “The Millers” between “The Big Bang Theory” and “Crazy Ones,” and NBC is adding two new shows, “Welcome to the Family” at 8:30 p.m. and Sean Hayes starrer “Sean Saves the World” at 9.

Elsewhere on the opening Thursday of the season, dramas “Grey’s Anatomy” on ABC (3.4/9 in 18-49, 9.3 million viewers overall) and “Elementary” on CBS (2.1/6 in 18-49, 10.1 million viewers overall) opened noticeably lower than last year, though the former out-perfomed its final 20 episodes of last season.

And it was a soft start to the season for Fox’s “Glee” (2.0/5 in 18-49, 5.2 million viewers overall), airing behind “The X Factor” (2.0/6 in 18-49, 6.4 million viewers overall).

NBC’s “Parenthood” premiered on its new night with a 1.6/5 in 18-49 and 5.2 million viewers overall) — down from its Tuesday numbers from early last year but certainly an improvement over last year’s “Rock Center.”

For CBS, “Big Bang” was up by about 10% over its year-ago, half-hour premiere (5.0 in 18-49), and the combo of “Crazy Ones” and “Two and a Half Men” (2.9/8 in 18-49, 11.5 million viewers overall) provided the Eye with roughly 20% improvement in 18-49. “Crazy Ones” delivered CBS’ best performance in the timeslot in key demos since “CSI” in 2009.

“Crazy” exhibited a strong gender balance, with 48% of its 18-49 and 25-54 audience coming from men.

The falloff from “Crazy” to “Two and a Half Men” is a bit surprising, but the shows figure to be closer to each other next week; “Men” opened with a 3.5 demo rating and 12.5 million at 8:30 p.m. behind “Big Bang” a year ago.

Closing out the night, “Elementary” was in line with where it left off last season, but well off from the 3.1 demo score it opened to a year ago (when it faced lesser competition).

Like CBS, NBC was up over its opening Thursday of last year, though an hour of “Parks and Recreation” was down a bit from last year’s combo of a “SNL” special and “Up All Night.” At 10, “Parenthood” doubled the demo delivery of Brian Williams newsmag “Rock Center.”

NBC has now shown year-over-year improvement on four of four nights to start the season.

At ABC, a special repeat of rookie Tuesday drama “Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD” did a 1.4/4 in 18-49 and 5.2 million viewers overall in the 8 o’clock hour, leading into the two-hour season premiere of “Grey’s Anatomy” (3.4/9 in 18-49, 9.3 million viewers overall), which was down more than 20% from its year-ago, hourlong opener (4.4). “Scandal” returns at 10 next week.

For the night, ABC placed second to CBS in 18-49, 25-54 and total viewers, coming in 7% lower than last year.

Fox’s “The X Factor” (2.0/6 in 18-49, 6.4 million viewers overall) held steady with its performance of last week but was off more than 30% from a year ago. And “Glee,” with the first of two Beatles-themed episodes, was down 17% from last year’s 2.4 demo rating but in line with its closing average of last spring.

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: CBS, 3.7/11; ABC, 2.7/8; Fox, 2.0/6; NBC, 1.7/5; CW, 0.3/1.

In total viewers: CBS, 14.2 million; ABC, 7.9 million; Fox, 5.8 million; NBC, 5.3 million; CW, 0.9 million.

Popular on Variety

More TV

  • Topic Studios

    Layoffs Hit Topic Studios as TV Division Relocates to West Coast (EXCLUSIVE)

    A small round of layoffs has hit Topic Studios this week in the television division, insiders familiar with the company told Variety. One of the insiders said three executives at the New York-based producer and distributor are out: senior vice president of scripted programming and Viacom alum Lisa Leingang, vice president of development Mona Panchal [...]

  • Peter Weber and Mike Johnson

    'The Bachelor's' Mike Johnson on Diversity and New Leading Man Peter Weber

    ABC named its newest star of “The Bachelor” this week, officially making Peter Weber the leading man for Season 24 of the long-running dating show. Social media backlash ensued following the announcement due to ABC’s selection lacking diversity, yet again. Since the dating franchise began in 2002, there has been only one “Bachelorette” of color [...]

  • ABC Studios Logo

    ABC Studios Head of Alternative Fernando Hernandez Exits

    ABC Studios’ head of alternative Fernando Hernandez has departed from his post at the Disney-owned television studio, a source familiar with the situation told Variety. The Hollywood Reporter first reported the news. Hernandez’s exit follows an executive shuffling at the top in recent months that has included the departure of Amy Hartwick, ABC Studio’s head [...]

  • Rob Cowan, Greg Silverman'The Conjuring 2'

    Greg Silverman’s Stampede, School of Rock Team for Unscripted Series (EXCLUSIVE)

    Former president of Warner Bros. Pictures Greg Silverman is partnering with School of Rock through his content creation company Stampede. The collaboration with the music school will create exclusive content, starting with the development of an unscripted series.  School of Rock operates a network of performance-based education franchises that offer students of all ages guidance [...]

  • TV Roundup: Erica Durance Reprises 'Smallville'

    TV News Roundup: Erica Durance Reprises 'Smallville' Role in 'Arrowverse' Crossover

    In today’s TV news roundup, Erica Durance reprises her “Smallville” role in the CW’s annual “Arrowverse” crossover, and Showtime shares with Variety an exclusive sneak peek at the return of “The Circus.” FIRST LOOKS “2020 is the most important election of our lifetime,” Alex Wagner says in a new trailer for the fourth season of [...]

  • Patrick Whitesell and Ari Emanuel WME

    Endeavor Targets Sept. 27 for Stock Debut, IPO Video Tells Company's Origin Story

    After years of preparation, Endeavor is set to make its formal Wall Street debut on Sept. 27, when its stock will begin trading on the New York Stock Exchange. Endeavor has targeted Sept. 26 for the final pricing of its shares. The stock will trade publicly the following day. Earlier this week, Endeavor said its [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content