According to Nielsen prelims, the entrepreneurial reality show, coming off its top-rated season and summer to date, averaged a 1.7 rating/6 share in adults 18-49 and 6.7 million viewers overall in the 9 o’clock hour — on par with last year’s premiere demo score when the show aired at 8. In total viewers, last night’s tally was up 5% from last year (6.4 million) for the show’s biggest audience to start a season to date.
ABC beat its rivals in 18-49 in each hour Friday, starting with the season premieres of comedies “Last Man Standing” (1.5/6 in 18-49, 6.6 million viewers overall) and “The Neighbors” (1.2/4 in 18-49, 4.6 million viewers overall). “Last Man Standing,” featuring guest starts from the A&E comedy smash “Duck Dynasty,” came in down about 20% from last year’s opener, though that came in early November and thus during a time of higher television usage.
It’s likely a good chunk of the “LMS” audience was unaware that the show was underway for its third season. The comedy originally premiered in mid-October in 2011, and then bowed even later on the calendar a year ago.
The Tim Allen half-hour was followed by the return of “The Neighbors,” a surprise renewal by ABC after a modestly rated rookie season airing on Wednesday nights. In its 8:30 p.m. timeslot, it tied with a repeat of CBS reality show “Undercover Boss” in the 18-49 demo.
Closing out the night for ABC was a time-winning performance from newsmagazine “20/20” (1.4/5 in 18-49, 5.6 million viewers overall).
ABC’s rivals aired repeats with the exception of a two-hour “Dateline” on NBC (1.1/4 in 18-49, 5.5 million viewers overall).
CBS debuts its Friday lineup next week, and NBC rolls out its dramas “Grimm” and “Dracula” in late October.