The same-night ratings bar for summer series continues to lower, with CBS’ “Under the Dome” returning considerably softer than last year — yet was still the top-rated among the evening’s six dramas on the major networks. ABC’s “Rookie Blue” also was much lower as it returned, while Fox’s “Boom!” didn’t make a lot of noise in its bow.
The sheer number of original dramas across the television landscape has mushroomed in just the two years since the premiere of “Under the Dome,” which was one of only two scripted Big Four programs on the June 2013 night it bowed — unlike last night when all four of the major networks were airing scripted originals. The NBA Draft also may have stolen away some night viewers from the original series on the broadcast networks last night.
According to preliminary national estimates from Nielsen, CBS won Thursday in key demos behind the second night of the two-night “Big Brother” season premiere (2.0 rating/8 share in adults 18-49, 6.4 million viewers overall), which was nearly on par with its Wednesday score, and the third-season premiere of “Under the Dome” (1.3/5 in 18-49, 6.2 million viewers overall), which won its two-hour timeslot in both demos and total viewers but hit a series low (excluding last year’s Labor Day special episode, which did a 1.2).
“Dome” was down a big 38% in 18-49 from last year’s premiere on a Monday (1.3 vs. 2.1) and about 19% lower than its same-night season average for last year (1.6). “Dome” was a breakout hit when it bowed two years ago, and averaged 11.2 million same-night viewers for its first season; that number fell to about 7.2 million last year.
“Under the Dome” will air regularly at 10 p.m. starting next week, following “Big Brother” at its regular 9 p.m. timeslot.
Elsewhere, Fox’s “Wayward Pines” continues to look good (1.2/4 in 18-49, 3.4 million viewers overall), matching last week’s score despite the additional drama competition from “Under the Dome.” “Wayward” has been a very consistent performer and hit a high in Live+7 with its June 4 episode (2.4), according to the most recent full-week playback Nielsen numbers available. Leading into “Wayward Pines” was the debut of quizshow “Boom!” (0.9/4 in 18-49, 2.5 million viewers overall), which placed third for its timeslot.
At ABC, “Astronaut Wives Club” (0.8/3 in 18-49, 4.5 million viewers overall) fell 27% (0.3) from last week’s OK series premiere, placing fourth for its 8 p.m. hour in 18-49 and third in both adults 25-54 and total viewers; still, it rated better than last year’s “Black Box” in the same timeslot (0.6 in 18-49, 3.8 million). It was followed by “Mistresses” (0.7/3 in 18-49, 3.3 million viewers overall), down 0.2 from last week’s season premiere, and the fifth-season premiere of “Rookie Blue” (0.6/2 in 18-49, 3.7 million viewers overall), which was down a steep 45% from its year-ago opener (1.1).
NBC opened well with “Dateline” (1.3/5 in 18-49, 6.9 million viewers overall), which was on par with last week and placed second for the 8 o’clock hour in demos and first in total viewers; in fact, it was the night’s most-watched program on any network. The newsmagazine was followed by original dramas “Aquarius” (0.6/2 in 18-49, 3.2 million viewers overall) and “Hannibal” (0.4/1 in 18-49, 1.6 million viewers overall), with the former basically even with last week and the latter down a tick. This week, NBC renewed “Aquarius” for a second season while announcing that this will be the final season of “Hannibal.”
CW’s “Beauty and the Beast” (0.2/1 in 18-49, 0.9 million viewers overall) remained very low, down a tenth from last week. It was followed by a repeat episode of “The Vampire Diaries” (0.2/1 in 18-49, 0.6 million viewers overall).
Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: CBS, 1.5/6; Fox, 1.0/4; NBC and Univision, 0.8/3; ABC, 0.7/3; Telemundo, 0.6/2; CW, 0.2/1.
In total viewers: CBS, 6.3 million; NBC, 3.9 million; ABC, 3.8 million; Fox, 2.9 million; Univision, 2.2 million; Telemundo, 1.3 million; CW, 0.7 million.