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ABC Comedy ‘Cristela’ Wins Timeslot in Premiere Friday

The ratings bar is pretty low on Fridays these days, but ABC family comedy “Cristela” was able to clear it last night with its series premiere, capturing its timeslot in demos on an overall victorious night for the Alphabet.

According to preliminary national estimates from Nielsen, ABC opened the night with “Last Man Standing” (1.2/5 in 18-49, 6.6 million viewers overall), which was nearly in line with its hourlong premiere of last week and narrowly led its half-hour.

It was followed by the series premiere of “Cristela” (1.3/5 in 18-49, 6.6 million viewers overall), which built by a tenth in the demo on its lead-in to sweep the 8:30 p.m. time period. The net typically saw dropoffs of three or fourth tenths in the 8:30 p.m. timeslot last season with “Neighbors” behind “Last Man Standing,” so any show that can approximate (or actually build on) its “Last Man” lead-in would be an improvement.

“Cristela” was created by and stars comedienne Cristela Alonzo, who also serves as a writer and producer of the series.

Shark Tank” followed at 9 p.m. for ABC (1.9/7 in 18-49, 7.2 million viewers overall), towering over every other series on the night in young adults — and up vs. both last week and the comparable night a year ago. The net then fell off from there at 10 p.m. with “20/20” (1.2/4 in 18-49, 5.1 million viewers overall), though it earned a share of the 18-49 lead for its 10 o’clock hour.

At CBS, “The Amazing Race” remains low (1.1/4 in 18-49, 6.0 million viewers overall), but it combined with “Hawaii Five-0” (1.3/4 in 18-49, 9.2 million viewers overall) and “Blue Bloods” (1.2/4 in 18-49, 10.8 million viewers overall), Friday’s two most-watched programs overall, to lift the Eye to a second-place finish in demos while winning rather easily in total viewers.

NBC, whose dramas “Grimm” and “Constantine” premiere Oct. 24, opened with encores of Thursday comedies “Bad Judge” (0.7/3 in 18-49, 3.6 million viewers overall) and “A to Z” (0.5/2 in 18-49, 2.2 million viewers overall). They were followed by a two-hour “Dateline” (1.0/4 in 18-49, 5.1 million viewers overall), which built throughout its telecast and tied with “20/20” and “Blue Bloods” in 18-49 for the 10 o’clock hour.

Fox aired “Utopia” (0.7/3 in 18-49, 1.9 million viewers overall) and a repeat of “Gotham” (0.4/1 in 18-49, 1.6 million viewers overall). The net edged out CW, which aired “Whose Line Is It Anyway” (0.6/2 in 18-49, 1.5 million viewers overall for an original at 8 and 0.5/2 and 1.5 million for a repeat at 8:30) and “America’s Next Top Model” (0.4/1 in 18-49, 1.0 million viewers overall).

ABC won Friday in 18-49 (1.5/5) and 25-54 (2.1/7) while CBS cruised in total viewers (8.7 million).

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