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Ratings: ‘Scream Queens,’ ‘Limitless,’ ‘Muppets’ Soar in Delayed Viewing

All three of Tuesday’s broadcast newcomers had good stories to tell in Nielsen’s first delayed-viewing snapshot of the season, with Fox’s “Scream Queens” — the softest of last week’s bows on the night — benefiting the most.

Scream Queens” gained 1.07 ratings points in adults 18-49 (or 65%) in rising to a 2.73 for its premiere. Tuesday’s youngest-skewing broadcast (median age: 36) was the night’s biggest gainer in both raw numbers and percentage, according to Nielsen’s “live plus-3” estimates. It leap-frogged three shows on the competition that it had lagged in same-night numbers: ABC’s “Fresh Off the Boat,” CBS’ “Limitless” and NBC’s “Best Time Ever With Neil Patrick Harris.”

The new horror comedy from Ryan Murphy added more than 2 million total viewers, rising from 4.04 million to 6.24 million. “Scream Queens” also added about 1 million viewers via streaming on Fox Now and Hulu, the largest-ever lift for a Fox premiere (ahead of even “Empire”) in this window, to bring its three-day viewership to about 7.3 million.

At CBS, a solid bow for “Limitless” looked even better in L3, as it rose 1.03 points (or 55%) to a 2.90 rating in 18-49 and about 3.5 million total viewers (to 13.37 million). As a result, it moved up the Tuesday demo leaderboard, surpassing ABC’s “Fresh Off the Boat” (2.50 in L3) and NBC’s “Best Time Ever With Neil Patrick Harris” (2.47 in L3).

“Limitless” also opened up some distance on lead-in “NCIS: New Orleans” in 18-49 (2.90 vs. 2.38), building on the sophomore by 22% in L3 after posting a 9% improvement in same-day numbers (1.87 vs. 1.72). And the new drama based on the Bradley Cooper feature film also improved upon the network’s performance in the same time period a year ago with the season premiere of “Person of Interest” by nearly 25% (2.90 vs. 2.33).

ABC’s “The Muppets,” the top-rated series premiere last Tuesday in 18-49 (2.9 rating), added 0.9 (31%) to its total in L3 (3.77), closing the gap on the night’s No. 1 program (NBC’s “The Voice,” which rose to 4.16 in L3) and cementing its status as television’s highest-rated new comedy since the network’s “Black-ish” a year ago. “Muppets” also improved its standing as the top-rated new comedy of the young season, with CBS’ new Monday series “Life in Pieces” rising modestly in L3 to 3.22. In total viewers, “Muppets” grew more than 2 million to 11.06 million.

Among returning series on Tuesday, CBS’ “NCIS” saw the biggest rise in both 18-49 rating (0.9) and total viewers, rising by more than 3 million in the latter to 21.47 million.

In numbers for Monday night released Saturday by Nielsen, NBC’s “Blindspot” saw particularly large lifts in delayed viewing, and CBS’ “Big Bang Theory” was the biggest gainer overall.

TOP TUESDAY BROADCASTS IN LIVE+3 (Adults 18-49 rating)
……………………………………………. L+3 ……. L+SD ……. Lift
1.  The Voice (NBC) …………………… 4.16 ……   3.49 ……. 0.68 (19%)
2.  The Muppets (ABC) ……………….. 3.77 ……   2.87 …….. 0.90 (31%)
3.  NCIS (CBS) ………………………… 3.37 ……   2.47 …….  0.89 (36%)
4.  Limitless (CBS) …………………….. 2.90 …….  1.87 …….  1.03 (55%)
5.  Scream Queens (Fox) …………….. 2.73 …….  1.65 …….  1.07 (65%)

Source: Nielsen

(Note: Due to rounding issues, the raw gains and final L+3 numbers aren’t always aligned, as is the case with “The Voice,” “NCIS” and “Scream Queens” in the chart above.)

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