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Weekly Ratings: ‘Blindspot,’ ‘Quantico,’ ‘Limitless’ Fall’s Most Impressive New Shows

NBC Rules in Demos as Network's Winning Streak Continues

NBC continued its hot start to the season, winning in young adults for a second straight week behind standout rookie “Blindspot,” an improved Thursday thanks to “Heroes Reborn” and “The Blacklist” and still-potent numbers from “The Voice.” And, of course, its “Sunday Night Football” led all of primetime in just about every category.

Going back to summer, NBC has now won 13 consecutive weeks in adults 18-49 — the longest stretch for any network since Fox in 2009. Last week, its 2.7 rating/9 share in adults 18-49 (matching its same score of a year ago) easily bested runner-up CBS (2.1/7), with ABC and Fox tied for third (1.8/7). NBC also won comfortably in adults 25-54 and 18-34, while CBS easily prevailed in total viewers (10.3 million).

Among new series to have aired at least two episodes across the broadcast networks, three 10 p.m. drama series have performed best. NBC’s “Blindspot” has been the highest-rated of these, thanks in part to its lead-in from “The Voice,” but its big gains in delayed viewing via DVR and VOD playback also suggests that it also is reaching a whole other audience.

Also looking good are ABC’s “Quantico” and CBS’ “Limitless,” with both shows premiering with a 1.9 rating and then impressively delivering the same score in week two; each has also built on its lead-in for two straight weeks. Both are bringing a younger audience to their networks, as the ABC newbie last week nearly doubled its “Blood & Oil” lead-in among adults 18-34 (1.5 vs. 0.8) while the CBS rookie improved upon “NCIS: New Orleans” by 22% in the demo (1.1 vs. 0.9).

ABC’s “The Muppets” is the top-rated new comedy in 18-49 through two airings, though this figures to be a key week after it saw a sizable 31% drop for its second episode last Tuesday. Fox’s “Rosewood” has exceeded mild expectations in the Wednesday pre-“Empire” hour, with last week’s 18-49 rating (2.0) down an acceptable 17% from its premiere (2.4).

In the OK range are CBS’ “Life in Pieces” and NBC’s “Best Time Ever with Neil Patrick Harris” (both airing behind their network’s top-rated shows), NBC’s “Heroes Reborn” and Fox’s “Scream Queens.” Shows in most need of improvement at this time are Fox’s “Minority Report,” NBC’s “The Player” and ABC’s “Blood & Oil.” Of the three, “Blood” is the highest-rated and held up the best in its second airing, down just a tenth in 18-49.

Last week saw four more premieres on the Big Four networks, and each delivered the same 1.5 rating in adults 18-49. Relative to expectations and lead-in, the best performer of them was ABC’s Ken Jeong comedy “Dr. Ken,” which built on its “Last Man Standing” lead-in (1.2) and out-performed last year’s premiere of “Cristela” by 0.2.

Fox introduced a pair of new Tuesday comedies, “Grandfathered” and “The Grinder,” both of which did a 1.5 rating — not bad in their tough Tuesday time period which currently includes “The Voice,” “NCIS” and “The Muppets.” The shows fronted by John Stamos and Rob Lowe are well matched and their identical opening-night ratings (as well as the same lift in L+3) suggests that viewers see the shows as a tandem.

CBS tried something other than a crime show after “Criminal Minds” and the result was a decent premiere for hospital drama “Code Black” (1.5/5 in 18-49, 8.58 million viewers overall). It retained about the same percentage of its lead-in as last year’s “Stalker” and then added about 50% to its demo total in L+3 (rising to a 2.3).

Among returning series, Fox’s “Empire” saw its first real week-to-week fall but remained far and away the frame’s top entertainment series in 18-49 (5.5/17, 13.74 million viewers overall); it was off from its premiere by 18% in same-night 18-49 rating (5.5 vs. 6.7) but that deficit was trimmed to 11% in L3 (7.7 vs. 8.7). The network had to be pleased that “Gotham” at least held steady in its second week back (1.6/5 in 18-49, 4.64 million viewers overall) after its lackluster premiere, even if “Minority Report” has already gone under a 1 demo rating (0.9, and then to a 0.7 in the current week).

ABC’s 8 p.m. comedies on Wednesday (“The Middle”) and Friday (“Last Man Standing”) were among the few scripted returnees on any network to post  gains from their week-earlier returns, and the net’s “Once Upon a Time” looked better this week (1.8/5 in 18-49, 5.38 million viewers overall) by matching its premiere score. Thursday dramas “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Scandal” and “How to Get Away with Murder” kept ABC No. 2 to football on Thursdays; they declined by 14% week-to-week in same-night numbers but by just 8% in L+3.

CBS had good news for its Friday veterans “The Amazing Race” (1.2/5 in 18-49, 5.98 million viewers overall), “Hawaii Five-0” (1.1/4 in 18-49, 9.24 million viewers overall) and “Blue Bloods” (1.3/5 in 18-49, 11.41 million viewers overall), each of which was up slightly in 18-49 from their premieres. “Blue Bloods” gained more than 1 million total viewers to stand as the night’s most-watched program; it also ranked fourth among all dramas for the week in total viewers despite airing on a lower-watched night.

At NBC, “The Blacklist” premiered to pretty good numbers Thursday (1.8/6 in 18-49, 7.76 million viewers overall), as the show bounced back from its soft spring to match its high since February. And on Wednesday, the season premiere of “Chicago PD” matched its best non-crossover 18-49 rating (1.7) in about a year while “Law & Order: SVU” equaled its highest rating to date opposite an episode of “Empire” (also 1.7).

In cable, AMC’s “Fear the Walking Dead” (3.4/10 in 18-49, 6.86 million viewers overall) held at last week’s demo score while rising to a three-week high in total viewers as it wrapped its six-episode rookie season. AMC will release L+3 numbers for the show on Friday.

Showtime’s “Homeland” (1.66 million viewers) and “The Affair” (815,000 viewers) saw year-over-year gains in regular-timeslot ratings for their premieres on Sunday. But over at HBO, “The Leftovers” (713,000 viewers) drew about half as many viewers for its 9 p.m. premiere telecast as last year, when it aired in the summer and benefited from a “True Blood” lead-in.

Lifetime’s latest TV series biopic, “The Unauthorized Beverly Hills 90210 Movie,” bombed on Saturday with a 0.30 rating in adults 18-49 and just 654,000 total viewers. In August, the “Unauthorized Full House Movie” did more than twice the ratings (0.61 in 18-49, 1.57 million total viewers). And last fall, a similar movie on “Saved By the Bell” drew a 0.90 in the demo and 1.59 million viewers overall.

With coverage of the Oregon school shooting resulting in higher tune-in at the cable news networks, Fox News Channel ranked second to ESPN as the most-watched cable networks for the week. Its average of 1.94 million was its highest in five weeks.

Discovery, which was the standout cable network of summer, last week was celebrating its best-ever quarterly ratings for the third time this year. Led by a deep unscripted roster including “Street Outlaws,” “Deadliest Catch” and “Alaskan Bush People,” the network moved up to No. 4 for the quarter in adults 18-49 (up from No. 8 a year ago), No. 3 in adults 25-54 (up from No. 6) and No. 2 in men 18-49 (up from No. 6); but it also cracked the top 10 for the quarter in women 25-54 (No. 8 vs. No. 16 a year ago).


(Sept. 28-Oct. 4, 2015; live plus same-day)

Adults 18-49 (rating/share)
NBC ……………………….  2.7/9
CBS ………………………..  2.1/7
Fox …………………………  1.8/6
ABC ………………………..  1.8/6
ESPN ………………………  1.1/4
UNI ………………………..   0.8/3
TEL ………………………..   0.5/2
TBS ………………………..   0.5/2
AMC ………………………..  0.5/2
USA …………………………  0.5/2

Total Viewers (in millions)
CBS ………………………..  10.33
NBC ………………………..    9.30
ABC …………………………   6.78
Fox ………………………….   5.34
ESPN ………………………   3.04
UNI …………………………   2.22
Fox News ………………….   1.94
USA ………………………..   1.63
Disney ……………………..   1.49
TEL …………………………   1.32

(Sept. 28-Oct. 4, 2015; live plus same-day)

Adults 18-49
1.  Sunday Night Football: Dallas-New Orleans (NBC), 8.7/26
2.  Thursday Night Football: Baltimore-Pittsburgh (CBS/NFLN), 6.9/23
3.  Empire (Fox), 5.5/16
4.  Monday Night Football: Kansas City-Green Bay (ESPN), 5.1/16
5.  The Big Bang Theory (CBS), 3.8/13
6.  The Voice-Tuesday (NBC), 3.7/12
7.  The Voice-Monday (NBC), 3.4/10
8.  Modern Family (ABC), 3.0/9
9.  Scandal (ABC), 2.8/9
10.  The Simpsons (Fox), 2.7/8
11.  Blindspot (NBC), 2.6/8
12.  Saturday Night Football: Notre Dame-Clemson (ABC), 2.5/9
13.  Survivor (CBS), 2.4/9
13.  The Goldbergs (ABC), 2.4/8
15.  Grey’s Anatomy (ABC), 2.3/8
15.  How to Get Away With Murder (ABC), 2.3/8
17.  The Middle (ABC), 2.2/8
17.  NCIS (CBS), 2.2/8
19.  Rosewood (Fox), 2.0/7
19.  The Muppets (ABC), 2.0/7
19.  Criminal Minds (CBS), 2.0/6
22.  Limitless (CBS), 1.9/7
22.  Life in Pieces (CBS), 1.9/6
22.  Quantico (ABC), 1.9/6
22.  Best Time Ever with Neil Patrick Harris (NBC), 1.9/6
22.  Brooklyn Nine-Nine (Fox), 1.9/5

Total Viewers (in millions)
1.  Sunday Night Football: Dallas-New Orleans (NBC), 24.18
2.  Thursday Night Football: Baltimore-Pittsburgh (CBS/NFLN), 19.43
3.  NCIS (CBS), 16.53
4.  The Big Bang Theory (CBS), 15.23
5.  Empire (Fox), 13.74
6.  Monday Night Football: Kansas City-Green Bay (ESPN), 13.51
7.  The Voice-Tuesday (NBC), 13.60
8.  NCIS: New Orleans (CBS), 12.86
9.  The Voice-Monday (NBC), 12.09
10.  60 Minutes (CBS), 11.81
11.  Madam Secretary (CBS), 11.79
12.  Blue Bloods (CBS), 11.41
13.  Dancing With the Stars (ABC), 11.04
14.  Criminal Minds (CBS), 10.07
15.  Limitless (CBS), 9.73
16.  Scorpion (CBS), 9.49
17.  Survivor (CBS), 9.43
18.  The Good Wife (CBS), 9.25
19.  Hawaii Five-0 (CBS), 9.24
20.  Scandal (ABC), 9.12
21.  Blindspot (NBC), 9.10
22.  Modern Family (ABC), 8.72
23.  Life in Pieces (CBS), 8.71
24.  Grey’s Anatomy (ABC), 8.58
24.  Code Black (CBS), 8.58

Source: Nielsen


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