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Thursday Broadcast Premieres Underwhelm in the Ratings

NBC's 'Save Me' weak in its bow, but Fox's 'Does Someone Have to Go?' and ABC's 'Motive' do OK

The first night following the conclusion of the television season saw the Big Four roll out some new summer programs, though none made much of a mark. ABC did OK with “Motive” (pictured), and Fox with “Does Someone Have to Go,” but it was a soft start for NBC comedy “Save Me.”

Fox won Thursday among young adults while CBS prevailed in other categories despite an all-repeat lineup.

According to preliminary national estimates from Nielsen, won the night’s opening hour in 18-49 with “Hell’s Kitchen” (2.1/7 in 18-49, 5.5 million viewers overall), finishing a bit behind a repeat of CBS’ “Big Bang Theory” at 8 and then pulling ahead of the Eye’s “Two and a Half Men” at 8:30. The time-period debut of “Kitchen” rose 17% above its season premiere on Monday of last week (1.8) opposite season finales, and was Thursday’s No. 1 series in several categories, including men 18-49 (2.0/7) and persons 12-34 (1.4/6).

At 9, unscripted workplace series “Does Someone Have to Go?” averaged a 1.3/4 in 18-49 and 3.1 million viewers overall, holding steady at a 1.3 in both half-hours and edging past ABC and CBS for the hour

At ABC, “Wipeout” (1.2/4 in 18-49, 4.1 million viewers overall) was up a bit from last week when it faced season finales, ranking third in 18-49 for the 8 o’clock hour. The net held at that level with its Canadian dramas from 9 to 11 p.m.: the series premiere of “Motive” (1.2/4 in 18-49, 5.9 million viewers overall) and the fourth-season debut of “Rookie Blue” (1.2/4 in 18-49, 6.0 million viewers overall).

“Motive” was competitive in its hour, on par with a repeat of CBS drama “Person of Interest” and a tick behind Fox’s new unscripted series. And “Rookie Blue” was down in 18-49 from last year’s opener (1.4), but it drew the show’s second largest overall audience since its rookie season in 2010. “Rookie” beat out dramas on NBC (original “Hannibal”) and CBS (repeat of “Elementary”).

NBC kicked off the night with back-to-back originals of new Anne Heche comedy “Save Me” (0.7/3 in 18-49, 3.2 million viewers overall at 8 p.m. and 0.7/2 in 18-49, 3.0 million viewers overall at 8:30). There may be no saving this series though, just as there was no saving “Saving Hope,” which was a late-spring premiere a year ago on NBC and opened with the same 0.7 rating. Repeats of “The Office” (0.7/2 in 18-49, 2.1 million viewers overall) and “Parks and Recreation” (0.7/2 in 18-49, 1.9 million viewers overall) followed, and an original episode of 10 p.m. drama “Hannibal” was the net’s top show of the night in 18-49 (1.0/3 in 18-49, 2.7 million viewers overall). Though it produces modest numbers on Thursday nights, its sizable DVR audience could work in its favor as NBC decides the show’s fate past its initial order.

CBS aired encores of its regular Thursday lineup: “The Big Bang Theory” (2.2/8 in 18-49, 8.8 million viewers overall), “Two and a Half Men” (1.8/6 in 18-49, 7.6 million viewers overall), “Person of Interest” (1.2/4 in 18-49, 6.8 million viewers overall) and “Elementary” (0.9/3 in 18-49, 4.8 million viewers overall). “Big Bang” was the night’s top series in 18-49.

Univision ranked third for the night in 18-49, with 9 p.m. novela “Amores Verdaderos” (True Love) winning its timeslot in demos (1.7/5 in 18-49, 4.1 million viewers overall).

CW aired repeats of Thursday regulars “The Vampire Diaries” (0.3/1 in 18-49, 0.9 million viewers overall) and “Beauty and the Beast” (0.2/1 in 18-49, 0.7 million viewers overall).

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: Fox, 1.7/6; CBS, 1.4/4; Univision, 1.3/4; ABC, 1.2/4; NBC, 0.8/3; CW, 0.2/1.

In total viewers: CBS, 6.6 million; ABC, 5.3 million; Fox, 4.3 million; Univision, 3.4 million; NBC, 2.6 million; CW, 0.8 million.

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