‘Shark Tank,’ ’20/20′ Score for ABC on Friday; All Nets Get Big DVR Lifts for Monday Premieres

ABC has won the opening Friday of the season in key demos behind an expanded “Shark Tank” and newsmag “20/20,” while CBS’ “The Amazing Race” looked soft on its new night but the net still won with ease in total viewers.

Also released Saturday by Nielsen were “live plus-3” estimates (DVR playback within three days of a premiere), which showed strong jumps for the top shows — which isn’t surprising given the number of highly anticipated premieres on the night. Fox’s “Gotham” and CBS’ “The Big Bang Theory” saw the biggest young-adult lifts, with the former emerging as the night’s top drama, while NBC’s “The Blacklist” had another monster lift.

Looking at Friday night’s action, a two-hour “Shark Tank” on ABC averaged a 1.8 rating/7 share in adults 18-49 and 7.1 million viewers overall from 8 to 10 p.m., winning the block in 18-49 and 25-54. It was on par with its year-ago hourlong opener on the Friday before the start of the TV season, and its total-viewer count was up 3% to a premiere high for the show.

20/20” capped the night (1.6/6 in 18-49, 6.4 million viewers overall), winning the 10 p.m. hour in demos and rising above its year-ago premiere by more than 30% in demos and 40% in total viewers.

ABC was up by 25% vs. its premiere-week Friday of last year, when it aired a repeat in the night’s opening hour. This is the net’s best season-opening Friday in six years.

At CBS, “The Amazing Race” opened sluggishly on its new night (1.1/5 in 18-49, 5.5 ), down sharply from the 2.0 it opened with on a Sunday last fall and also lagging the 1.5 it managed opposite the Winter Olympics with the start of its spring edition. As a younger-skewing, more upscale reality show, “Race” figures to look better in DVR playback relative to last year’s “Undercover Boss,” which opened with a solid 1.6 same-night result in this hour last year.

From 9 to 11 p.m., “Hawaii Five-0” (1.3/5 in 18-49, 8.9 million viewers overall) and “Blue Bloods” (1.2/4 in 18-49, 10.6 million viewers overall) were down 19% and 29% respectively vs. their premieres of last year when they followed “Undercover Boss.” “Hawaii” ran second for its hour in 18-49 (tie) and 25-54 (1.9/6) while winning in total viewers, and “Blue Bloods” placed third in the demos and dominated in total viewers; in fact, the Tom Selleck drama was the night’s most-watched program overall.

NBC, whose dramas “Grimm” and “Constantine” debut next month, opened with a repeat of “The Mysteries of Laura” (0.7/3 in 18-49, 4.8 million viewers overall), followed by the two-hour season premiere of “Dateline” (1.4/5 in 18-49, 6.9 million viewers overall), which was up a bit from last year’s bow in the same 9-11 p.m. window.

Fox barely registered with its combo of “Utopia” (0.7/3 in 18-49, 1.9 million viewers overall) and a repeat of Monday’s “Gotham” (0.7/3 in 18-49, 2.5 million viewers overall).

There was better news for Fox, though, in the early DVR numbers released Saturday, which showed that the series premiere of “Gotham” jumped 1.8 ratings points (3.2 to 5.0) from its same-night average to its “Live plus-3” number. That moved it ahead of fellow rookie “Scorpion” on CBS, which had also done a 3.2 and rose to a 4.6, and tied with NBC’s “The Voice” (which went from 3.9 to 5.0).

NBC’s “The Blacklist,” which last season delivered the largest-ever gains for a program, set a series record of 17.4 million total viewers in L+3, adding more than 5 million viewers and topping the previous high of 16.9 million in L+3 with last year’s series premiere. In 18-49 lift, it grew by 1.49 ratings points (44%), up from a year-ago increase of 1.28 ratings points (33%), to finish a tick behind “Gotham.”

CBS’ “The Big Bang Theory” jumped 2 full ratings points with both of its half-hours to hit a 7.4 rating. Even though its same-night ratings were down from last year’s premiere on a Thursday, the DVR lifts put it slightly above that number. Following “Scorpion,” the season finale of “Under the Dome” rose to a 2.6 (up from a 1.8 in the same-night numbers).

ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars” went from a 2.2 to a 2.6, and “Forever” rose 0.7 (41%) to a 2.4 for its special preview episode.

As a result of the updates, CBS closed the gap with NBC for the night’s top broadcast average in 18-49 (4.9 vs. 5.0) and pulled ahead of the Peacock in adults 25-54 (6.4 vs. 6.2).



L3              Same-night

1.    The Big Bang Theory-8 (CBS)                   7.4                   5.4

2.    The Big Bang Theory-8:30 (CBS)              7.4                   5.4

3.    The Voice (NBC)                                      5.0                  3.9

3.    Gotham (Fox)                                          5.0                   3.2

5.    The Blacklist (NBC)                                 4.9                   3.4

6.    Scorpion (CBS)                                       4.6                    3.2

7.    Sleepy Hollow (Fox)                                3.0                    2.0

8.    Under the Dome finale (CBS)                   2.6                   1.8

8.    Dancing With the Stars (ABC)                 2.6                   2.2

10.    Forever preview (ABC)                            2.4                    1.7


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