Last week was a good one for reality shows — including hot A&E series “Duck Dynasty” and the finale of ABC’s “The Bachelor” — but TV’s biggest scripted series topped the charts.
AMC’s “The Walking Dead” (5.5 rating/14 share) and CBS’ “The Big Bang Theory” (4.8/16) were the frame’s two highest-rated programs among young adults, with the latter also leading all shows in total viewers (15.9 million).
Overall, the first full week of Daylight Saving Time meant lower ratings for most shows airing early in the evening — and that brought down the network averages. Fox finished on top for the March 11-17 frame with a 1.9 rating/6 share, with ABC and CBS tied for second (1.7/5), followed by Univision (1.3/4) and NBC (1.1/3).
Univision has now finished ahead of NBC for seven straight weeks as the Peacock continues to count down the minutes until “The Voice” returns next week.
CBS edged out Fox to win the week among adults 25-54 and dominated in total viewers, drawing nearly 3 million more viewers than both ABC and Fox.
Fox was paced as usual by “American Idol,” whose Wednesday edition (3.8/11 in 18-49, 13.44 million viewers overall) matched the previous week to mark the first time since January that the show hasn’t seen a week-to-week decline on the night. It ranked third for the week in young adults.
Another veteran reality contest, “Hell’s Kitchen,” kicked off its 11th season Tuesday with OK numbers (2.2/7 in 18-49, 5.30m), placing second in 18-49 but nearly 30% above the net’s same-night average this season. It will face tougher reality competish in coming weeks, including “The Voice” and “Dancing With the Stars.”
CBS’ week was highlighted by its winning Thursday, where “The Big Bang Theory” was followed by “Two and a Half Men” (3.3/10 in 18-49, 12.18m), which was a tick behind “American Idol” in 18-49. And “Person of Interest” (2.9/8 in 18-49, 14.34m) again beat ABC’s “Grey’s Anatomy” (2.6/7, 8.20m) and was the week’s No. 1 broadcast drama in all key categories.
In its third week on Tuesday, new cop drama “Golden Boy” (1.5/5, 8.53m) virtually matched its week-earlier result despite airing after a repeat “NCIS: Los Angeles” this time.
At ABC, the final three hours of “The Bachelor” dominated Monday, with the two-hour finale (3.5/10 in 18-49, 10.42m) followed by the “After the Final Rose” special (3.8/10, 10.81m). The finale was up more than 20% both week-to-week and vs. last year’s season-ender.
The net beat its rivals on Friday even with “Shark Tank” in repeat (1.5/5, 5.60m). For the season, ABC is tops among the Big Four in 18-49 on Friday, with its best average in four years.
On Sunday, “Once Upon a Time” edged up (2.3/6, 7.45m) while “Revenge” dipped (1.8/5, 6.57m) and newbie “Red Widow” (1.0/3, 4.36m) fell for a second straight week following its premiere.
NBC was again led by “The Biggest Loser” (2.0/5 in 18-49, 5.62m) and “The Office” (1.9/5, 3.54m). Other positives for the net included “Office” lead-in “Parks and Recreation” (1.6/5, 3.00m) and Sunday’s “Celebrity Apprentice” (1.8/5, 5.45m), with the latter again beating both CBS and ABC in 18-49 for the 10 o’clock hour.
But it remains a struggle across most of the sked for the Peacock, especially on Tuesday without “The Voice.” At 10, “Smash” edged up to a 0.9 demo rating last week but the net had already seen enough, shipping the Broadway-themed drama to Saturdays to finish its run.
Cable had three of the week’s top 25 programs in 18-49, all in the top 10. In addition to “The Walking Dead” (5.5/14, 10.84m), there was A&E’s “Duck Dynasty” (3.7/11, 8.29m) and History’s third week of mini “The Bible” (2.8/7, 10.87m), which bounced up from the numbers for its second part. Following “The Bible” on Sunday, original drama “The Vikings” also was on the upswing (1.5/4, 4.83m).
Disney Channel’s event special “The Wizards Return: Alex vs. Alex,” based on the 2007-12 series starring Selena Gomez, drew 5.87 million viewers Friday and led into animated series “Gravity Falls,” which drew a series-best 4.50 million.