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January Premieres Mostly Underperforming for the Broadcast Networks

Fox's 'Rake' joins the list after a sluggish premiere behind 'American Idol'; CBS wins week with big Grammy Awards

NBC’s “Chicago P.D.” continues to look pretty good, but otherwise it’s been a rough start for new series on the broadcast networks in 2014, with Fox’s “Rake” joining the list of lackluster performers with its premiere bow last week.

Fox also hasn’t been able to get many to sign up for Friday comedy “Enlisted” on that challenging night, and CBS’ “Intelligence” hasn’t looked all that bright on Monday. ABC, meanwhile, cancelled one show after just two airings, “The Assets,” and is holding on to another (“Killer Women”) that’s not faring much better.

The mostly disappointing perfs by the hourlongs to start the year come following a 2013 that produced more drama hits than usual, including NBC’s “The Blacklist,” CBS’ “Under the Dome,” Fox’s “The Following” and “Sleepy Hollow” and, though it hasn’t quite lived up to its pre-season hype, ABC’s “Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD.”

Last week, a frame won in demos by CBS largely on the strength of the Grammy Awards, saw Fox’s “Rake” open with a 1.7 rating/5 share in adults 18-49 and 6.95 million viewers overall. While decent numbers, and better than the regular timeslot premieres of other recent new dramas, the Greg Kinnear show retained just half of the young-adult audience watching “American Idol” in the hour preceding it (3.4/10 in 18-49, 12.39 million viewers overall), and it didn’t face the stiffest of competition.

On Friday, “Enlisted” remained low (1.0/3 in 18-49, 3.23 million viewers overall) but a timeslot switch to put it immediately behind “Bones” (1.8/6 in 18-49, 7.49 million viewers overall) paid off, as the military-set family comedy was up from the 0.6 demo rating of the previous week when it followed “Raising Hope.” Fox was also pleased with the early DVR numbers on “Enlisted,” whose Jan. 12 premiere rating more than doubled in 18-49 from Live+Same Day to Live+7 (0.7 to 1.5).

Over at CBS, “Intelligence” (1.1/3 in 18-49, 5.77 million viewers overall) was down slightly from its soft timeslot premiere of the previous week (though it bounced back some on Monday of the current week thanks largely to a stronger lead-in). The Josh Holloway-Marg Helgenberger drama isn’t faring much better than “Hostages” in the same hour earlier this season.

ABC’s “Killer Women” is hanging on by a thread on Tuesdays (0.7/2 in 18-49, 3.62m), but the net isn’t exactly giving the show the best lead-in; “Trophy Wife” sunk to a 0.9 in the half-hour preceding it last week. Thursday limited series “The Assets” was canceled earlier in the month after hitting a 0.6 in the demo with its second episode.

NBC’s “Chicago P.D.” (1.6/5 in 18-49, 6.24m) was up a bit in its third week, tying with CBS vet “CSI” for the 18-49 drama lead at 10 p.m. on Wednesday. It retained most of its lead-in from “Law & Order: SVU” (1.8/5 in 18-49, 6.68m) and provided a big upgrade in the timeslot over the fall’s “Ironside.”

Overall for the Jan. 20-26 sesh, CBS led in adults 18-49 with a 2.7/7, followed by Fox (2.0/6), NBC (1.7/5), ABC (1.4/4) and Univision (1.1/3). The Eye also led comfortably in total viewers to pull into a tie with NBC for the season lead, and won by a monster margin of more than 5 million in total viewers.

The Eye’s telecast of the “56th Annual Grammy Awards” was down a bit year-over-year in 18-49 (9.9/25) but that score was more than twice as large as the week’s No. 2 program, Fox’s “American Idol” (4.0/11). In total viewers, the music kudocast edged up from last year (28.51 million from 28.38 million) for the show’s second largest audience in 21 years.

As for “Idol,” its Wednesday show dropped 15% in 18-49 from the previous week’s premiere (4.7), and Thursday’s hour (3.4/10 in 18-49, 12.39m) was off about 10% from its opening hour on the night one week earlier. Despite the lower numbers, in a week when “The Big Bang Theory” was in repeat, no series rated higher in 18-49 than “American Idol.”

Fox had to be pleased with gains for its Tuesday comedy block, including “Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” which took advantage of repeat dramas on ABC and CBS to shoot up 36% in 18-49 (1.9/5 in 18-49, 4.55m). Another rookie, Monday drama “Sleepy Hollow” (2.4/6 in 18-49 7.05m) ended its season up 8% week-to-week and was the night’s top drama in 18-49.

NBC’s week was led by Sunday’s “NFL Pro Bowl” (3.8/10 in 18-49, 11.38 million viewers overall), which was down just slightly from last year despite having to face the Grammys this time around.

One of ABC’s bright spots remains Friday, where “Shark Tank” (2.2/7 in 18-49, 8.18 million viewers overall) hit a regular-timeslot high in 18-49 and “20/20” (1.9/6 in 18-49, 8.29m) drew some of its best numbers in years.

At CW, “The Originals” (1.1/3 in 18-49, 2.51 million viewers overall) and “Supernatural” (1.1/3 in 18-49, 2.65 million viewers overall) combined for the net’s most-watched Tuesday in more than five years, with the former drawing its largest overall aud yet and the latter hitting a three-year high.

A&E’s “Duck Dynasty” (2.9/7 in 18-49, 6.65 million viewers overall) slid by 12% in the demo and 21% in total viewers from its week-earlier season premiere — the smallest same-night crowd for an original episode of the series since the second-season finale drew 6.45 million in December 2012. Still, it ranked eighth among all primetime programs for the week in 18-49.

Lifetime drew another sizable audience for a Saturday original movie, Christina Ricci-fronted “Lizzie Borden Took an Ax” (4.41 million), and was the night’s top program on television in key female demos.

WEEKLY NETWORK AVERAGES

Adults 18-49 (rating/share)

CBS             2.7/7
Fox              2.0/6
NBC             1.7/5
ABC             1.4/4
UNI             1.1/3
CW              0.7/2
TEL             0.6/2

Total Viewers

CBS           11.28 million
Fox             6.12 million
NBC            5.95 million
ABC            5.44 million
UNI            2.89 million
CW              1.68 million
TEL             1.37 million

WEEK’S TOP PRIMETIME PROGRAMS
(Live plus same-day)

Adults 18-49
1.   56th Annual Grammy Awards (CBS), 19.9/25
2.  American Idol-Wednesday (Fox), 4.0/11
3.  NFL Pro Bowl (NBC), 3.8/10
4.  American Idol-Thursday (Fox), 3.4/10
4.  Modern Family (ABC), 3.4/9
6.  How I Met Your Mother (CBS), 3.1/9
7.  The Big Bang Theory-r (CBS), 3.0/9
8.  Duck Dynasty (A&E), 2.9/8
9.  2 Broke Girls (CBS), 2.7/7
10.  The Big Bang Theory 9 p.m.-r (CBS), 2.5/7
11.  Sleepy Hollow (Fox), 2.4/6
12.  The Middle (ABC), 2.3/7
12.  The Bachelor (ABC), 2.3/6
12.  The Blacklist (NBC), 2.3/6
15.  Shark Tank (ABC), 2.2/7
15.  Criminal Minds-r (CBS), 2.2/6
15.  Sleepy Hollow-8 p.m. (Fox), 2.2/6
18.  Mike & Molly (CBS), 2.1/5
19.  60 Minutes (CBS), 2.0/6
19.  Castle (ABC), 2.0/6
19.  Family Guy (Fox), 2.0/5

Total Viewers (in millions)
1.   56th Annual Grammy Awards (CBS), 28.51
2.  60 Minutes (CBS), 14.36
3.  NCIS (CBS), 14.20
4.  American Idol-Wednesday (Fox), 13.29
5.  The Big Bang Theory-r (CBS), 12.94
6.  American Idol-Thursday (Fox), 12.39
7.  NFL Pro Bowl (NBC), 11.38
8.  NCIS: Los Angeles-r (CBS), 10.42
9.  Criminal Minds (CBS), 10.35
10.  The Big Bang Theory 9 p.m.-r (CBS), 9.88
10.  Blue Bloods-r (CBS), 9.88
12.  Modern Family (ABC), 9.59
13.  CSI (CBS), 9.47
14.  2 Broke Girls (CBS), 9.03
15.  Castle (ABC), 8.96
16.  Mike & Molly (CBS), 8.92
17.  The Millers-r (CBS), 8.86
18.  The Blacklist (NBC), 8.83
18.  How I Met Your Mother (CBS), 8.83
20.  20/20 (ABC), 8.29


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