CBS Takes Tuesday in Demos; NBC’s ‘Chicago Fire,’ Fox’s Comedies Rise

CBS won the second Tuesday of the May sweep in key demos behind “NCIS” and “NCIS: Los Angeles,” even if the former was at a season low. Still, it nearly caught NBC’s downtrending “The Voice” as the night’s No. 1 program among young adults. ABC’s top shows “Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD” and “The Goldbergs” were also lower than last week, but Fox saw upticks for the season finales of “New Girl” and “The Mindy Project.”

As we get deeper into May, television usage levels continue to be lower than usual, especially early in the evening. Nielsen estimates that just 28.9% of adults 18-49 were watching TV last night from 8 to 9 p.m. — down 9.7% from the comparable night a year ago (32.1%). Those usage numbers improved some as the night wore on, with the 9 p.m. hour off 5.6% from last week, and the 10 p.m. down 3.2%.

According to preliminary national estimates from Nielsen, “NCIS” (2.3 rating/8 share in adults 18-49, 15.7 million viewers overall) was down 8% week to week but placed a closed second in both 18-49 and 25-54 for its hour (and among all shows on the night) while ranking as Tuesday’s most-watched series overall. It was followed by “NCIS: Los Angeles” (2.2/6 in 18-49, 14.0 million viewers overall, pictured), which was up a tick from last week and retained nearly all of its demo lead-in from the original “NCIS.” Closing the night was “Person of Interest” (1.7/5 in 18-49, 10.4 million viewers overall), which dropped about 10% week to week, placing a close second for its hour in 18-49 while winning in adults 25-54.

In addition to its first-place finishes in 18-49 and 25-54, CBS dominated as usual in total viewers — averaging nearly as big a crowd on the night (13.4 million) as NBC, ABC and Fox combined (13.7 million).

At NBC, “The Voice” (2.4/8 in 18-49, 10.4 million viewers overall) declined about 10% week to week to a series low, holding the slimmest of advantages over “NCIS” in both 18-49 (2.4 to 2.3) and 25-54 (3.4 to 3.3). The net’s middle-hour comedies “About a Boy” (1.5/5 in 18-49, 6.4 million viewers overall) and “Growing Up Fisher” (1.2/4 in 18-49, 5.2 million viewers overall) declined in tandem with “The Voice,” also hitting lows. But at 10 p.m., “Chicago Fire” (1.9/6 in 18-49, 7.0 million viewers overall) was up 6% (its second straight telecast to grow from the prior week) to hit a six-week high and lead the hour in 18-49.

ABC’s “Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD” (1.8/6 in 18-49, 5.1 million viewers overall) was down 5% from its week-ago prelim to match its low, again placing third in its hour in 18-49 and tying “NCIS” for the lead in men 18-49. After hitting xxx-week highs last week and moving ahead of NBC’s “About a Boy” in 18-49, ABC’s “The Goldbergs” dropped more than 20% to a season-low 1.3/4 in 18-49 (4.1 million viewers overall); it finished a two-tenths behind “About a Boy” but edged out Fox’s “New Girl.” Also tumbling from last week and hitting a low was “Trophy Wife” at 9:30 (0.7/2 in 18-49, 2.4 million viewers overall), but “Celebrity Wife Swap” (0.9/3 in 18-49, 2.8 million viewers overall) was up slightly and again built on the struggling first-year comedy.

Fox’s “Glee,” which abandoned its high school setting midway through this season and seems to be paying for it in the ratings, matched its series low (0.8/3 in 18-49, 2.2 million viewers overall) and ranked a distant fourth among the Big Four in the 8 o’clock hour. The season finale of “New Girl” (1.2/4 in 18-49, 2.4 million viewers overall) followed with a one-tenth improvement from last week, and “The Mindy Project’s” closer (1.3/4 in 18-49, 2.4 million viewers overall) was up two-tenths to build slightly on “New Girl.”

At CW, “The Originals” (0.6/2 in 18-49, 1.5 million viewers overall) and “Supernatural” (0.8/2 in 18-49, 1.8 million viewers overall) both lost two tenths week to week, with the former at its season low.

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: CBS, 2.1/6; NBC, 1.9/6; ABC, 1.3/4; Fox, 1.0/3; CW, 0.7/2.

In total viewers: CBS, 13.4 million; NBC, 7.7 million; ABC, 3.7 million; Fox, 2.3 million; CW, 1.6 million.

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