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Delayed Viewing: ‘Blindspot,’ ‘Quantico’ Top Rookies, But Overall Lifts Smaller This Year

Fox's 'Empire' Hits Series High in Season's First L+7 Results

The usual suspects like “Modern Family” and “The Big Bang Theory” joined younger shows “Empire” and “Blindspot” in posting the largest full-week time-shifted demo gains during the first week of the television season. Overall, though, after years of seeing the size of the biggest lifts grow with each season, the number of new and returning series seeing significant growth was lower this year — seemingly underscoring the networks’ assertions that there is plenty of uncounted viewing, even beyond the “live plus-7” window.

Fox’s “Empire,” airing in the fall for the first time following its monster premiere season last winter, saw the biggest spike in Nielsen’s “live plus-7” estimates among adults 18-49. Its 2.7-point lift for the Sept. 23 season opener, up from its same-day 6.7 rating, resulted in a series-high 9.4. Its previous high in “L+7” came with its first-season finale in March, which did a 9.3.

“Empire” was far and away the No. 1 entertainment series during Premiere Week in the 18-49 demo, followed by CBS’ “The Big Bang Theory” (6.8), ABC’s “Modern Family” (5.4) and “Scandal” (5.1) and NBC rookie “Blindspot” (5.0). ABC’s “Grey’s Anatomy” and both nights of NBC’s “The Voice” averaged a 4.4, and the Alphabet’s “How to Get Away With Murder” did a 4.3.

“Modern Family” gained 2.2 points and “Big Bang” rose 2.1, as they joined “Empire” as the only shows rising by at least two points. A year ago, there were six series that grew by at least 2 points, including rookies “Gotham” and “How to Get Away With Murder.”

Similarly, in total viewers there were four shows that grew by at least 5 million viewers when comparing “same-day” with “live plus-7” — down from six a year ago. The biggest risers this Premiere Week were “Blindspot” (5.98 million), “Empire” (5.93 million), “The Big Bang Theory” (5.52 million), ABC newbie “Quantico” (5.01 million) and “Modern Family” (4.81 million). After “Blindspot” and “Quantico,” the biggest lifts for new series came from CBS’ “Limitless” (4.40 million), NBC’s “Heroes Reborn” (3.13 million) and Fox’s “Scream Queens” (3.02 million).

Fox released 7-day multi-platform audience tallies for its series, with “Empire” rising to 24.2 million viewers; roughly 8 million of its total came after the night of its premiere. “Scream Queens” grew to 8.3 million (more than double its 4.04 million same-day total), “Gotham” to 8.3 million (up 82% vs. its same-day total of 4.57 million), “Rosewood” to 10 million (up 33% from its 7.54 million same-day total), and “Minority Report” to 6 million (nearly double its 3.10 million in same-day).

ABC could claim six of the top 10 (top 11 actually, due to a tie) broadcast gainers in adults 18-49, led by “Modern Family” (2.2), TGIT dramas “Scandal” (1.8), “How to Get Away with Murder” (1.7) and “Grey’s Anatomy” (1.6) and “Quantico” (1.5). On a percentage basis, the net’s 10 p.m. dramas “Castle” and “Nashville” grew by the largest amount (83%) in L+7.

The Alphabet also released 14-day multi-platform numbers for its top two new shows, with “Quantico” nearly tripling its “live plus same-day” 18-49 rating (5.69 vs 1.93) via DVR playback, VOD and streaming numbers for its premiere and a linear repeat airing. And “The Muppets,” whose totals include two linear replays, more than doubled its same-day rating (6.18 vs. 2.87).

Overall, 14-day online and VOD viewing provided a 20% lift in premiere week vs. ABC’s averages in “live+7,” up from 16% a year ago, the network said. ABC added 1 full ratings point to its weekly non-sports average (to 2.8), a bigger lift than any other network.

At CBS, “Limitless” grew 1.3 (68%) to a 3.2 in Live+7 and to a 4.4 — more than double its 1.9 same-night rating — when unduplicated audience for an encore broadcast and 14 days of video-on-demand/online streaming are included. The show also grew 79% in total viewers to 17.64 million. The network notes that the audience for non-linear viewership is significantly younger, including 39 streaming and 46 for VOD.

Also for CBS, in total viewers, “The Big Bang Theory” (23.73 million) and “NCIS” (22.47 million) leapfrogged NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” (22.16 million) as the week’s most-watched shows overall.

In addition to “Blindspot,” NBC also big 18-49 gains in L+7 for another rookie, “Heroes Reborn” (up 73%, 1.96 to 3.39). And its “The Player,” starting from a smaller base, shot up by 61% (1.16 to 1.86).

 

BIGGEST WEEK ONE L+7 LIFTS

Adults 18-49 …………………………… L+SD ….. L+7 ……. Lift
1.  Empire (Fox) ………………………….. 6.7 …….. 9.4 ……. 2.7
2.  Modern Family (ABC) ………………… 3.2 …….. 5.4 ……. 2.2
3.  The Big Bang Theory (CBS) …………  4.7 …….. 6.8 ……. 2.1
4.  Blindspot (NBC) ………………………. 3.1 …….. 5.0 ……. 1.9
5.  Scandal (ABC) ……………………….. 3.3 ……… 5.1 ……. 1.8
6.  How to Get Away … (ABC) …………. 2.6 ……..  4.3 ……. 1.7
7.  Grey’s Anatomy (ABC) ………………  2.8 ……..  4.4 ……. 1.6
8.  Quantico (ABC) ……………………..   1.9 ………  3.4 ……  1.5
9.  Black-ish (ABC) ………………………  2.4 ……… 3.8 ……  1.4
9.  Scream Queens (Fox) ……………….  1.7 ………. 3.1 ……. 1.4
9.  Heroes Reborn (NBC) ……………….  2.0 ……… 3.4 ……. 1.4

Total Viewers (in millions) …………… L+SD ……… L+7 ………. Lift 
1.  Blindspot (NBC) ………………………  10.61 ……. 16.59 …….. 5.98
2.  Empire (Fox) …………………………..  16.18 ……. 22.11 …….. 5.93
3.  The Big Bang Theory (CBS) …………  18.20 ……  23.73 ……. 5.53
4.  Quantico (ABC) ……………………….    7.14 …….  12.15 ……. 5.01
5.  Modern Family (ABC) …………………   9.46 …….  14.28 …… 4.82
6.  How to Get Away … (ABC) …………..   8.38 ……. 12.99 ……. 4.61
7.  Scandal (ABC) ………………………… 10.25 ……. 14.73 ……. 4.49
8.  Limitless (CBS) …………………………  9.86 …….. 14.26 …… 4.40
9.  NCIS (CBS) ……………………………  18.19 ……. 22.47 …… 4.28
10.  Blue Bloods (CBS) …………………..  10.08 ……. 14.34 …… 4.26

Source: Nielsen (Sept. 21-27, 2015)

 

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