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Ratings: Fox’s ‘MasterChef Junior’ Opens Season a Winner Friday

Fox has been a non-factor on Fridays this fall, but last saw a solid return for the network’s “MasterChef Junior,” which led its hour in young adults. There was little movement elsewhere on the night, though ABC’s “Shark Tank” looked a little healthier and remained the top series in key demos.

According to preliminary national estimates from Nielsen, “MasterChef Junior” averaged a 1.3 rating/5 share in adults 18-49 and 4.1 million viewers overall; it stands a good chance of rounding up in the finals (currently at 1.34). It led its 8 o’clock hour in the demo over ABC’s comedy block of “Last Man Standing” (1.2/5 in 18-49, 6.8 million viewers overall) and “Dr. Ken” (1.2/5 in 18-49, 5.4 million viewers overall), and also prevailed in adults 18-34 (0.8/4 to 0.7/3 for ABC). With the exception of “Empire,” this would be Fox’s first timeslot victory with an entertainment series this season.

“MasterChef Junior” opened to a bigger 1.8 rating in each of its prior to editions (last fall and last winter), but those were both on higher-watched Tuesday night. The show, now in its fourth season, has performed well everywhere it’s been slotted by Fox.

Elsewhere, ABC’s “Shark Tank” (1.6/6 in 18-49, 6.7 million viewers overall) was up 0.2 from its low of last week to sweep the 9 o’clock hour in demos. Among those it beat was the season premiere of Fox’s unscripted series “World’s Funniest” (0.8/3 in 18-49, 2.2 million viewers overall), which was down 0.2 from its Friday bow last January but nearly on par with its first-season average (0.9).

And closing a winning night in demos for ABC was “20/20,” which followed up its season high of last week with its second best score (1.3/5 in 18-49, 5.2 million viewers overall). It edged out CBS’ “Blue Bloods” in 18-49 (1.3 to 1.2), but the veteran CBS drama pulled ahead in adults 25-54 (1.9/6) and was again the night’s No. 1 series in total viewers (10.8 million). “Blue Bloods” was up across the board from last week when it was held down opposite ABC’s big “20/20” interview with Leah Remini and the World Series on Fox.

Earlier for CBS, “The Amazing Race” (1.1/4 in 18-49, 5.9 million viewers overall) was down a tick and perhaps was impacted by the arrival of “MasterChef Junior.” And “Hawaii Five-0” held steady (1.1/4 in 18-49, 8.7 million viewers overall).

At NBC, “Undateable” (0.7/3 in 18-49, 2.7 million viewers overall) and “Truth Be Told” (0.6/2 in 18-49, 2.1 million viewers overall) were about on par with last week, and continue to come in well below the competing multi-camera comedies on ABC. “Grimm” (1.0/4 in 18-49, 3.8 million viewers overall) was down a tick from its week-ago premiere, and “Dateline” (1.0/4 in 18-49, 4.2 million viewers overall) was up 0.2.

Nielsen on Saturday also issued Live+3 estimates for last Monday, which showed NBC’s “Blindspot” emerge as easily the night’s No. 1 scripted program in 18-49 (3.68). The rookie drama rose 1.44 ratings point to soar past CBS’ “Supergirl” (2.95), which rose 0.77. The two first-year Greg Berlanti series had tied in same-day 18-49 ratings with a 2.2.

Week to week in Live+3, “Supergirl” was down from its premiere by 29% in 18-49 rating (2.95 vs. 4.13) and by 30% in total viewers (11.26 million vs. 16.12 million) — on par with its same-day declines (30% in 18-49 and 31% in total viewers).

CBS’ “Scorpion” remained Monday’s most-watched scripted program (12.42 million), rising nearly 3 million from its same-day tally (9.51 million). It edged out NBC’s “Blindspot” (12.02 million), whose 4.12 million-viewer lift in L+3 is the largest for any broadcast series since the Oct. 19 episode of “Blindspot” (+4.40 million). Last week in Live+3, AMC’s “The Walking Dead” had the biggest raw gains while ABC’s “Quantico” more than doubled its rating in all key demos.

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