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‘NCIS: New Orleans’ Solid in Bow; ‘Chicago Fire’ Hot, ‘SHIELD’ Sluggish in Returns

UPDATE: In updated Nielsen nationals released late Wednesday, ABC’s shows all posted gains from their earlier fast-national results. “Dancing With the Stars” (1.7/6 in 18-49, 9.96 million viewers overall) and “Forever” (1.8/6 in 18-49, 6.85 million viewers overall) picked up one tenth, while “Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD” gained two-tenths to look a little healthier (2.1/6 in 18-49 and 5.98 million viewers overall). “Forever” ended up slightly ahead of its Monday preview in 18-49 (1.8 vs. 1.7) and edged ahead of CBS’ “Person of Interest” (1.7/5 in 18-49, 10.58 million viewers overall), which was revised down a tenth in the nationals to a series low.

The only other 18-49 adjustments came at NBC, where “The Voice” was up a tenth (4.1/13 in 18-49, 13.18 million viewers overall) while “Chicago Fire” was down a tenth (2.6/8 in 18-49, 9.14 million viewers overall).

Overall, Tuesday was a soft night for the Big Four, which were down collectively in 18-49 by 23% year-over-year. If  the move of “The Big Bang Theory” to Monday helped the broadcasters produce gains on that night, Tuesday suffered in part due to comparisons to last year when ABC’s “Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD” had a huge premiere.

FX’s “Sons of Anarchy” (2.2/7 in 18-49, 4.13m) was cable’s top show in 18-49, placing second to “Chicago Fire” in the 10 o’clock hour.


CBS’ “NCIS” spinoff “NCIS: New Orleans” was considered the safest bet of the fall, and it didn’t disappoint in its premiere, holding onto most of its sizable mothership lead-in and contributing to a sluggish return for timeslot competitor “Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD” on ABC. The only other series premiere last night was ABC’s “Forever,” which looked fairly good as it opened at about the same level as its special preview episode on Monday.

NBC won Tuesday in every under-55 demo behind “The Voice” and “Chicago Fire,” with both shows winning their timeslots and the latter matching its series high. CBS cruised in total viewers.

Like Monday night, when auds picked the new CBS drama (“Scorpion”) over the second-year incumbent (Fox’s “Sleepy Hollow”), it was the Eye’s “NCIS: New Orleans” (2.5 rating/7 share in adults 18-49, 17.1 million viewers overall) easily topping the Alphabet’s “Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD” (1.9/6 in 18-49, 5.6 million viewers overall).

“SHIELD” wasn’t expected to approach last year’s monster premiere scores when it kicked off the night (4.7/14 in 18-49, 12.12 million viewers overall), and it opened at the level it finished its first season. It aired behind a special “Dancing With the Stars” results show, which did a 1.6/6 in 18-49 and 9.6 million viewers overall.

“NCIS: New Orleans” was down 17% in 18-49 vs. last year’s “NCIS: Los Angeles” (3.0) while outdrawing the vet in total viewers (17.1 million vs. 16.4 million a year ago). It placed a distant second to NBC’s “The Voice” in demos while winning easily in total viewers; it’s the third straight night that CBS has drawn at least 13 million viewers for a drama premiere.

Kicking off the night, the 12th-season premiere of “NCIS” (2.9/10 in 18-49, 18.0 million viewers overall) came in down 19% in 18-49 from last year (3.6) when it faced tough drama competition from “Agents of SHIELD” but still figures to emerge as premiere week’s most-watched entertainment series (edging out the net’s “The Big Bang Theory”). It was also up from its May sweep average of last year (2.5).

Last night “NCIS” had the drama field to itself, but still had to contend with NBC’s “The Voice” (3.5 in 18-49, 11.4 million viewers overall), which was the hour’s timeslot leader in 18-49 and 25-54.

For its two hours, “The Voice” (4.0/13 in 18-49, 13.0 million viewers overall) was down 15% from its Tuesday premiere of a year ago but up a tick from its season premiere on Monday when it faced brutal competition. A year ago, the music contest tied with “Agents of SHIELD” as premiere Tuesday’s top show in 18-49, but last night it towered over runner-up “NCIS” (4.0 vs. 2.9).

The night’s 10 p.m. battle went in demos to NBC’s “Chicago Fire” (2.7/8 in 18-49, 9.4 million viewers overall), which impressively matched its year-ago opener (its series high) despite a softer “Voice” lead-in and also hit a series high in total viewers. It opened up some distance on CBS’ “Person of Interest” in 18-49, beating it by a best-yet 50% — up from its largest advantage of last season (24%).

“Person of Interest” (1.8/5 in 18-49, 10.7 million viewers overall) was second among the Big Four dramas in 18-49 and 25-54 (2.8 vs. a 3.4 for “Chicago Fire”) while winning in total viewers. “Person” was off 22% from its year-ago 18-49 premiere (2.3), and likely was impacted by crime-drama competition from ABC’s “Forever” (1.7/5 in 18-49, 6.5 million viewers overall).

Though it placed third at 10 p.m., “Forever” looks like it will be more competitive than last year’s trio of rookies to inhabit the timeslot (“Lucky 7,” “Killer Women” and “Mind Games”).  “Lucky 7” opened with a 1.3 demo rating (out of a 2.3 for “Trophy Wife” at 9:30) and then tumbled to a 0.7 in its second week (and what turned out to be its final airing).

Fox had a quiet night as expected, with “Utopia” (0.9/3 in 18-49, 1.9 million viewers overall) down slightly from last week, and “New Girl” (1.3/4 in 18-49, 2.3 million viewers overall) and “The Mindy Project” (1.0/3 in 18-49, 2.1 million viewers overall) falling about 20% from their week-earlier season premieres.

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: NBC, 3.6/11; CBS, 2.4/7; ABC, 1.8/6; Fox, 1.0/3; CW, 0.3/1.

In total viewers: CBS, 15.3 million; NBC, 11.8 million; ABC, 7.2 million; Fox, 2.1 million; CW, 0.7 million.


(as provided by the networks)

Adults 18-49
1.  The Voice (NBC)                   5.0      (last year’s L+7 final: 5.7)
2.  NCIS (CBS)                          3.9      (last year: 4.8)
2.  Chicago Fire (NBC)               3.9      (last year: 3.7)
4.  NCIS: N.O. (CBS)                 3.2      (last year’s NCIS: Los Angeles: 3.6)
5.  Agents of SHIELD (ABC)       3.1       (last year: 7.0)

Total Viewers
1.  NCIS (CBS)                           22.3 million    (last year: 24.7 million)
2.  NCIS: N.O. (CBS)                  20.7 million   (last year’s NCIS: Los Angeles: 19.2 million)
3.  The Voice (NBC)                    15.2 million   (last year: 16.7 million)
4.  Person of Interest (CBS)         14.6 million   (last year: 16.8 million)
5.  Chicago Fire (NBC)                13.0 million    (last year: 12.4 million)


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