Tuesday Ratings: ‘Fresh off the Boat,’ ‘MasterChef Junior’ Rise

CBS won Tuesday’s ratings race in key demos thanks to another dominant performance by “NCIS,” but a slight cool down by the drama coincided with gains for ABC’s “Fresh Off the Boat,” which grew in its second Tuesday airing, and Fox’s “MasterChef Junior,” which bounced back from last week to match its season high.

NBC’s “Parks and Recreation” also edged up in advance of next week’s series finale.

On the final Tuesday before NBC’s “The Voice” returns, “Fresh Off the Boat” averaged a 1.9 rating/8 share in adults 18-49 and 6.1 million viewers overall in the 8 o’clock half-hour — up from its week-ago timeslot premiere by 12% in the demo (1.7) and easily the top-rated of Tuesday’s six half-hour comedies, according to preliminary national estimates from Nielsen.

With the exception of ABC’s “Black-ish,” the only other first-year comedy telecast to earn a higher 18-49 rating this season than last night’s “Fresh Off the Boat” was the series premiere of NBC’s “Marry Me” behind “The Voice” in mid-October (2.3).

Much of the gains for “Boat” came from younger viewers, including a 57% spike in teens 12-17 (1.1 vs. 0.7), a category it led among the broadcasters.

Following “Boat” on ABC, hidden-camera alternative series “Repeat After Me” had an OK bow (1.4/4 in 18-49, 4.3 million viewers overall), outdrawing the night’s comedies on NBC and Fox. “Marvel’s Agent Carter” held steady at 9 (1.4/4 in 18-49, 4.1 million viewers overall), and the night was capped by a low-rated special, “Countdown to Oscars: 15 Movies That Changed American Cinema” (0.8/2 in 18-49, 3.1 million viewers overall).

CBS opened as usual with “NCIS” (2.5/8 in 18-49, 17.7 million viewers overall), which dominated its timeslot and was Tuesday’s No. 1 program in 18-49, 25-54 (3.9/10) and total viewers. After spiking to a 2.9 (matching its season high) last week, “NCIS” fell to its lowest score in five 2015 airings to date.

“NCIS: New Orleans” also came down to its 2015 low (2.0/6 in 18-49, 14.3 million viewers overall), but “Person of Interest” (1.6/5 in 18-49, 9.1 million viewers overall) held steady and won its timeslot, likely benefiting from the absence of ABC’s “Forever” in the hour.

For the night, CBS won by 33% in 18-49 and 72% in adults 25-54 over runner-up Fox. In total viewers, the net again outdrew its combined ABC-NBC-Fox competition (13.7 million vs. 11.9 million).

Fox’s “MasterChef Junior” (1.8/5 in 18-49, 5.4 million viewers overall) bounced back a big 0.4 from last week’s lower-than-usual score, matching its season high and placing second for its hour. It was followed by “New Girl” (1.4/4 in 18-49, 3.1 million viewers overall) and “The Mindy Project” (1.1/3 in 18-49, 2.5 million viewers overall), both of which gained a tenth from last week and easily beat their NBC comedy competition in 18-49. If it holds in the nationals, this would be “Mindy’s” largest overall audience since December.

At NBC, “Parks and Recreation” picked up a bit in its penultimate hour, up a tick with its episodes at both 8 (1.2/4 in 18-49, 2.9 million viewers overall) and 8:30 (1.1/3 in 18-49, 2.5 million viewers overall). The show wraps its run with a final hour next week, scheduled at a special 10 p.m. airtime behind a two-hour episode of “The Voice.”

Elsewhere for NBC last night, “Marry Me” held steady (0.8/2 in 18-49, 2.1 million viewers overall) and “About a Boy” was down 0.2 to its low (0.7/2 in 18-49, 2.4 million viewers overall) as the half-hours aired their final scheduled episodes; “Undateable” and the new “One Big Happy” will air from 9 to 10 on Tuesdays starting March 17. The Tuesday star for NBC remains “Chicago Fire” (1.4/4 in 18-49, 6.2 million viewers overall), which doubled its 18-49 lead-in to match last week’s score.

At CW, which tied NBC for the night in 18-49, “The Flash” (1.4/4 in 18-49, 3.7 million viewers overall) was about in line with last week while “Supernatural” was up (0.9/3 in 18-49, 2.3 million viewers overall). If the numbers hold in the nationals, this will be “Supernatural’s” highest-rated episode in adults 18-34 (0.9/3) since its midseason finale on Dec. 9.

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: CBS, 2.0/6; Fox, 1.5/4; ABC, 1.3/4; Univision, 1.2/4; NBC and CW, 1.1/3; Telemundo, 0.6/2.

In total viewers: CBS, 13.7 million; ABC and Fox, 4.1 million; NBC, 3.7 million; Univision, 3.1 million; CW, 3.0 million; Telemundo, 1.3 million.

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