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Weekly Ratings: NBC Scores Big, Looks Ahead After Super Bowl

For NBC, the season is just getting started.

The net used Sunday’s Super Bowl — which drew a record U.S. television-record 114.42 million viewers — to help promote its busy second half of the 2014-15 campaign, which features five new shows, one big timeslot switch and the return of a pair of scripted series that performed pretty well when they bowed last summer.

NBC goes into the second half of the season with the luxury of a big lead in the adults 18-49 race, as the Super Bowl helped expand its advantage to half a ratings point (2.9 to 2.4 over runner-up CBS). This is the net’s top rating at this point of the season in six years, and its overall nightly average audience of 9.76 million viewers (second for the season to CBS) is its biggest in eight years.

The Peacock last week made room for its new all-drama Thursday lineup by saying goodbye to “Parenthood” (1.7 rating/5 share in adults 18-49, 5.37 million viewers overall), which delivered the top 18-49 score in its 35 episodes on the night over the last two seasons. And “The Biggest Loser” ended with its best numbers  (1.4/4 in 18-49, 5.46 million) since its pre-season premiere in September

“The Blacklist,” which had previously aired on Mondays, shifts to Thursdays at 9 this week where it should produce sizable timeslot improvement for the net and also provide a good lead-in for newcomer “Allegiance,” which premieres this week. Another newcomer, “The Slap,” will serve as the lead-in for “The Blacklist” starting next week.

“Blacklist” is coming off series highs established Sunday with its post-Super Bowl episode (8.4/23 in 18-49, 25.72 million viewers overall), which also became NBC’s most-watched scripted telecast since the night of the “Friends” finale in May 2004.

Also contributing in NBC’s big week was “Celebrity Apprentice” (1.8/5 in 18-49, 6.32 million viewers overall), which outperformed the comparable week-4 episode of its prior cycle in 2013 by 18%.

And the net won Saturday with programming tied into the next night’s Super Bowl: “SNL’s NFL Saturday” (0.9/3 in 18-49, 3.83 million viewers overall) and the two-hour “NFL Honors” awards show (1.2/4 in 18-49, 4.67 million viewers overall). The former notched the net’s best non-sports score in the 8 o’clock hour in three years, and the latter drew the event’s best numbers in its four years on the air.

Elsewhere last week, the big news was the unprecedented third consecutive week of post-premiere growth for new Fox drama empire (4.3/13 in 18-49, 11.35 million viewers overall). It was the week’s No. 2 series in 18-49, not far behind CBS’ “The Big Bang Theory” (4.5/15 in 18-49, 17.25 million viewers overall).

ABC had a good return for its “TGIT” dramas “Grey’s Anatomy” (2.8/9 in 18-49, 8.71 million viewers overall), “Scandal” (3.6/11 in 18-49, 10.48 million viewers overall) and “How to Get Away With Murder” (3.1/10 in 18-49, 9.18 million viewers overall), which gave the net its highest-rated Thursday to open a February sweep in seven years.

CW’s “Jane the Virgin” (0.6/2 in 18-49, 1.55 million viewers overall) matched its season high as it seems to have gotten a bit of a post-“Golden Globes” bounce.

At Univision, novelas “Mi Corazon Es Tuyo” (3.7 million) and “Hasta el Fin del Mundo” (3.4 million) were both up week to week. And with “Aqui y Ahora” (Here and Now) and “Nuestra Belleza Latina” (Our Latin Beauty), it was the No. 2 network on television in both adults 18-34 (0.9/3) and 18-49 (1.1/3) on Sunday night opposite the Super Bowl.

Of note in the evening news ratings derby, NBC’s “Nightly News with Brian Williams” has seized momentum in the key news demo of adults 25-54, beating ABC’s “World News Tonight with David Muir” for the eighth time in nine weeks (2.54 million vs. 2.32 million) while also finishing on top as usual in total viewers (9.89 million vs. 9.49 million).

The top demo performances on cable came from VH1’s “Love & Hip-Hop” (1.5/5 in 18-49, 2.82 million viewers overall) and Discovery’s “Gold Rush” (1.4/5 in 18-49, 4.59 million viewers overall).

History’s scripted miniseries “Sons of Liberty” wrapped Tuesday as the night’s No. 1 cable program in both total viewers (3.30 million) and men 25-54 (1.5/4). And for its three nights, it averaged 3.1 million total viewers, including 1.1 million adults 18-49 and 1.3 million adults 25-54.

GSN’s “The Chase” kicked off its fourth season Tuesday with its largest premiere audience to date (749,000); add in its encore airing later that night, and the Brooke Burns-hosted quiz show surpassed the 1-million mark.

At Fox Business Network, Tuesday’s 9 p.m. series premiere of “Strange Inheritance” became the channel’s highest-rated program launch ever with 289,000 viewers, including 44,000 adults 25-54. And in a good sign, a second episode of the series, which follows Jamie Colby as she travels the country speaking with people who have been bequeathed unusual inheritances, followed at 9:30 p.m. and grew to 315,000 total viewers — a network record for any regular telecast.

 

TOP PRIMETIME BROADCAST NETWORKS
(Jan. 26-Feb. 1; live plus same-day)

Adults 18-49 (rating/share)
NBC                  7.5/22
ABC                    1.4/4
Fox                     1.4/4
CBS                    1.3/4
UNI                      1.2/3
CW                      0.7/2

Total Viewers (in millions)
NBC                     22.53
CBS                       8.05
ABC                       5.24
Fox                        4.46
UNI                        3.06
CW                        1.83

TOP PRIMETIME PROGRAMS
(Jan. 26-Feb. 1; live plus same-day)

Adults 18-49 rating/share
1.  Super Bowl: New England-Seattle (NBC), 39.1/79
2.  Super Bowl Post-Game (NBC), 26.3/57
3.  The Blacklist (NBC), 8.4/23
4.  The Big Bang Theory (CBS), 4.5/15
5.  Empire (Fox), 4.3/13
6.  Scandal (ABC), 3.6/11
7.  How to Get Away With Murder (ABC), 3.1/10
8.  American Idol-Wednesday (Fox), 2.9/9
9.  Grey’s Anatomy (ABC), 2.8/9
9.  Mom (CBS), 2.8/9
11.  Two and a Half Men (CBS), 2.3/7
11.  The Bachelor (ABC), 2.3/6
13.  American Idol-Thursday (Fox), 2.2/7
14.  Super Bowl’s Greatest Commercials (CBS), 2.1/6
14.  Criminal Minds (CBS), 2.1/6
14.  Gotham (Fox), 2.1/6
17.  Shark Tank (Fox), 1.9/7
18.  Celebrity Apprentice (NBC), 1.8/5
19.  Parenthood (NBC), 1.7/5
19.  MasterChef Junior (Fox), 1.7/5

Total Viewers
1.  Super Bowl: New England-Seattle (NBC), 114.42
2.  Super Bowl Post-Game (NBC), 72.51
3.  The Blacklist (NBC), 25.72
4.  The Big Bang Theory (CBS), 17.25
5.  NCIS-r (CBS), 12.89
6.  Blue Bloods (CBS), 11.87
7.  Mom (CBS), 11.78
8.  NCIS: New Orleans-r (CBS), 11.72
9.  Empire (Fox), 11.36
10.  American Idol-Wednesday (Fox), 11.28
11.  Super Bowl’s Greatest Commercials (CBS), 10.83
12.  Criminal Minds (CBS), 10.70
13.  Hawaii Five-0 (CBS), 10.50
14.  Scandal (ABC), 10.48
15.  CSI-Tuesday (CBS), 10.38
16.  Two and a Half Men (CBS), 9.71
17.  American Idol-Thursday (Fox), 9.37
18.  How to Get Away With Murder (ABC), 9.18
19.  The Mentalist (CBS), 9.17
20.  Grey’s Anatomy (ABC), 8.71

 

EVENING NEWS RATINGS
(Jan. 26-30)

Adults 25-54
Nightly News (NBC)           2.537 million (2.1 rating)
World News (ABC)             2.320 million (1.9 rating)
Evening News (CBS)          1.991 million (1.7 rating)

Total Viewers
Nightly News (NBC)           9.889 million
World News (ABC)             9.485 million
Evening News (CBS)          8.006 million

 

 

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