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Ratings: Fox Comedies Open OK; ‘Muppets’ Tumbles, ‘Limitless’ Holds Strong

UPDATED WITH FINALS: On a busy second Tuesday of the television season that saw NBC dominate behind “The Voice,” Fox comedies “Grandfathered” and “Grinder” opened to decent numbers while ABC’s new laffer “The Muppets” lost a sizable chunk in its second week. Also of note was a strong week-two hold for CBS newcomer “Limitless” and some declines for Fox’s “Scream Queens.”

According to “live plus same-day” national estimates from Nielsen, John Stamos comedy “Grandfathered” premiered in the 8 o’clock half-hour with a 1.5 rating/5 share in adults 18-49 and 5.34 million viewers overall, placing fourth in its timeslot but at near peak-level for a Fox Tuesday comedy last season (“New Girl” achieved as high as a 1.6 on one occasion, airing in the 9 o’clock slot.) It was followed by the debut of Rob Lowe laffer “The Grinder” (1.5/5 in 18-49, 4.98 million viewers overall), which held that audience.

Scream Queens,” airing in its regular 9 p.m. timeslot (1.4/5 in 18-49, 3.47 million viewers overall) was down about 15% from its two-hour average of last week (1.65) and 0.2 below its its performance that night in the 9 o’clock hour (1.6). It was again the most social TV show on Tuesday night, according to Nielsen.

ABC’s “The Muppets” (2.0/7 in 18-49, 5.78 million viewers overall) fell rather hard in its second week, down 31% (0.9) from its strong premiere but still providing the network with nice time period improvement vs. last year (up 43% from the 1.4 for “Selfie” in its premiere). Shows with big built-in awareness tend to fall harder in week two than most shows, and the presence of Fox comedies likely impacted it as well.

“Fresh Off the Boat” also came down (1.7/6 in 18-49, 4.74 million viewers overall), but only by 0.2 and was up 31% from last year’s “Manhattan Love Story” debut in the same week (1.3). Both ABC comedies beat their Fox comedy competition head-to-head.

A better lead-in seemed to help “Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD” (1.7/5 in 18-49, 4.90 million viewers overall), which may have been down 0.3 from last season’s peak score of 2.0 for its premiere but ahead of the show’s final 11 episodes from last season. And a repeat of new Sunday drama “Quantico” closed out the night (1.0/3 in 18-49, 4.21 million viewers overall).

At CBS, “Limitless” (1.9/6 in 18-49, 9.73 million viewers overall) retained 100% of its week-ago young-adult audience and grew slightly in adults 18-34 (1.1 vs. 1.0). It again built on its lead-in from “NCIS: New Orleans” (1.7/5 in 18-49, 12.86 million viewers overall), with the sophomore drama looking a little healthier this week by matching last week’s premiere score. Leadoff hitter “NCIS” (2.2/8 in 18-49, 16.53 million viewers overall) was the only CBS show to fall from last week, but it was again the night’s most-watched program overall.

NBC’s “The Voice” ruled from 8 to 10 p.m. (3.7/12 in 18-49, 13.60 million viewers overall), sweeping all four half-hours in 18-49 and up 0.2 from last week. “Best Time Ever With Neil Patrick Harris” (1.9/6 in 18-49, 5.99 million viewers overall) shared the 10 o’clock hour lead with “Limitless” in 18-49, down 0.2 from last week but up 0.2 from its Sept. 15 premiere. The network announced Wednesday afternoon that “Best Time Ever” will stay at 10 p.m. next week before moving to its new timeslot of 8 p.m. on Oct. 13.

CW’s “iHeartRadio Music Festival” mustered a 0.3/1 in 18-49 and 891,000 viewers overall from 8 to 10.

Of note in cable, an appearance by Donald Trump helped boost viewership for Fox News Channel’s “The O’Reilly Factor” (3.26 million), up about 500,000 from the previous night. It was cable’s most-watched program of the night.

FX’s “Bastard Executioner” edged up in its third week (0.41 in 18-49, 1.26 million viewers overall) after taking a tumble in same-night numbers last week. Its premiere on Sept. 15 did a 0.83 in 18-49 and 2.12 million total viewers, growing n “live plus-3” to a 1.41 in the demo and 3.61 million viewers overall.

LAST TUESDAY’S TOP SHOWS IN LIVE+3 (Adults 18-49 rating)
…………………………………………… L+3 ……. L+SD ……. Lift
1.  The Voice (NBC) …………………… 4.2 ……   3.5 ……. 0.7 (20%)
2.  The Muppets (ABC) ……………….. 3.8 ……   2.9 …….. 0.9 (31%)
3.  NCIS (CBS) ………………………… 3.4 ……   2.5 …….  0.9 (36%)
4.  Limitless (CBS) …………………….. 2.9 …….  1.9 …….  1.0 (53%)
5.  Scream Queens (Fox) …………….. 2.7 …….  1.7 …….  1.0 (59%)

Source: Nielsen

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