Friday was not a good night for a pair of network premieres, as the series opener of CBS reality show “The Job” and the second-season debut for Fox drama “Touch” delivered disappointing numbers.
On the other hand, the weak bows opened up some opportunities for a few other shows — like ABC’s “Last Man Standing,” CBS’ “CSI: NY” and NBC’s “Dateline” — to post ratings gains.
According to preliminary national estimates from Nielsen, “The Job” opened to a mere 0.9 rating/3 share in adults 18-49 and 4.1 million viewers overall in the 8 o’clock hour, generating about half the young-adult audience of regular slot occupant “Undercover Boss.” While “Boss” is taking a rest, CBS was hoping to attract similar interest for another employment-themed reality hour, but auds seemed to dismiss “The Job,” which ran fourth for its hour in 18-49 and 25-54 (1.2/3).
CBS rallied with “CSI: NY” (1.6/5 in 18-49, 9.4 million viewers overall), whose conclusion of a crossover event with the original “CSI” on Wednesday, was up week to week and placed second for the 9 o’clock hour in demos and first in total viewers. And at 10, “Blue Bloods” (1.5/5 in 18-49, 11.1 million viewers overall) held steady, sweeping its hour in demos and total viewers.
Over at Fox, Kiefer Sutherland drama “Touch” settled for a 1.0/3 in 18-49 with its two-hour premiere, dropping to a 0.8 demo rating by its final half-hour. “Touch” bowed to a 3.3/9 in 18-49 last March, but that was with a lead-in from “American Idol”; its first-season finale last September (on a Friday) did a 0.7/3.
And though it was a modest performer in its rookie season, Fox wanted to give the drama another shot on a lower-risk night. Beginning next week, reality show “Kitchen Nightmares” returns at 8, with “Touch” airing at 9.
Elsewhere, ABC won the night in demos as “Last Man Standing” (prelim 1.6/5 in 18-49, 7.3 million viewers overall) and “Malibu Country” (prelim 1.3/4 in 18-49, 6.2 million viewers overall) perked up, with the former winning the 8 o’clock half-hour in 18-49, 25-54 (2.2/6) and total viewers with its best numbers since November.
“Shark Tank” followed for ABC (1.9/6 in 18-49, 6.2 million viewers overall), in line with last week and again the night’s No. 1 broadcast in 18-49 and 25-54 (2.4/6). And at 10, “20/20” (1.3/4 in 18-49, 5.2 million viewers overall) finished in a dead heat with the time-period premiere of NBC’s own news hour, “Rock Center” (1.3/4 in 18-49, 5.5 million viewers overall), with the Peacock program that previously aired on Thursday locking up its best demo rating since November and its largest overall viewership since September.
NBC did pretty well from 8 to 10 p.m. with a two-hour “Dateline” (1.5/5 in 18-49, 7.0 million viewers overall), finishing just a smidge behind ABC for the two-hour block in 25-54 and winning the time period in total viewers. This was the newsmag’s largest Friday audience since September 2011.
“Grimm” is scheduled to return in the 9 o’clock hour for an uninterrupted run of episodes starting March 8, although the possibility remains that the Peacock may want to try the drama in one of its other hours that are ailing, like Thursday at 10.
CW’s “Nikita” (prelim 0.5/2 in 18-49, 1.4 million viewers overall) was up a bit week to week.