Ratings: Nice Return for NBC’s ‘Apprentice’; ABC’s ‘Galavant’ Gallant in Premiere

Fox dominated Sunday’s primetime ratings race behind NFL action and above-average scores for its comedies, but NBC’s “Celebrity Apprentice” shined late as it returned to the lineup with nice gains over its most recent premiere. And at ABC, four-week musical comedy experiment “Galavant” posted solid numbers in its launch.

According to preliminary nationals from Nielsen, “Celebrity Apprentice” (2.3 rating/7 share in adults 18-49, 6.8 million viewers overall) bowed with timeslot-winning numbers in the 18-49 demo, rising 35% (0.6) above its most recent season opener in March of 2013. In the demo, it beat the combined scores of CBS and ABC from 9 to 11.

The reality contest, with contestants including Vivica A. Fox, Terrell Owens and Geraldo Rivera, makes its regular timeslot debut tonight at 8.

Opening the night for NBC was “Dateline” (1.3/4 in 18-49, 6.2 million viewers overall), which built throughout its telecast and provided a solid lead-in for “Celebrity Apprentice.” This was the most-watched Sunday season premiere for the newsmag in five years.

Elsewhere, ABC followed “America’s Funniest Home Videos” (1.3/4 in 18-49, 6.1 million viewers overall) with the series premiere of “Galavant” (2.1/6 in 18-49, 7.9 million viewers overall at 8), which was followed by a second episode at 8:30 (1.9/5 in 18-49, 6.8 million viewers overall at 9). The 2.1 rating was above the most recent episode of “Once Upon a Time” to air in the 8 o’clock half-hour in December (1.7) and it makes “Galavant” the third highest-rated comedy premiere of the season — behind “Black-ish” on ABC (following “Modern Family”) and “Marry Me” on NBC (following “The Voice”).

The rest of the night was weak for ABC, with “Resurrection” (1.0/3 in 18-49, 4.1 million viewers overall) and “Revenge” (0.9/3 in 18-49, 3.9 million viewers overall) sagging without “Once Upon a Time” at 8.

Fox had a massive NFL overrun with the conclusion of the NFC Wild Card playoff game between the Detroit Lions and Dallas Cowboys, which aired until about 7:45 p.m. ET and helped funnel about 45 million viewers into the rest of the net’s lineup. As a result, “The Simpsons” (4.6/12 in 18-49, 10.5 million viewers overall) hit a one-year high in 18-49 and a three-year high in total viewers while “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” (2.9/8 in 18-49, 6.0 million viewers overall) delivered its best regular-timeslot scores to date (only its post-Super Bowl episode rated higher).

“Family Guy” followed at 9 p.m. (2.8/7 in 18-49, 5.5 million viewers overall) with its best scores since its September season premiere, and “Bob’s Burgers” closed out the night with 51-week highs (1.9/5 in 18-49, 3.9 million viewers overall).

CBS opened the night sluggishly with “60 Minutes” (0.8/2 in 18-49, 7.5 million viewers overall), which went up against the end of the NFL game on Fox. Despite the lower than usual kickoff to the night, “Madam Secretary” (1.4/4 in 18-49, 11.5 million viewers overall) was able to match its prior outing on a night without a CBS football overrun. From 9 to 11 p.m., “The Good Wife” (1.3/4 in 18-49, 10.2 million viewers overall) and “CSI” (1.2/4 in 18-49, 8.5 million viewers overall) both beat their ABC drama competition and were also on par with their prior originals on a non-NFL overrun night for the net.

The CBS dramas were the night’s three most-watched entertainment programs.

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: Fox, 6.2/17; NBC, 1.8/5; ABC, 1.3/4; CBS, 1.2/3; Univision, 0.8/2; Telemundo, 0.5/1.

In total viewers: Fox, 16.9 million; CBS, 9.4 million; NBC, 6.5 million; ABC, 5.4 million; Univision, 2.1 million; Telemundo, 1.1 million.


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