Ratings: ABC’s ‘Once Upon a Time’ Down, Still Leads in Demos on Quiet Sunday

ABC’s “Once Upon a Time” fell off some last night but remained the top young-adult draw for the broadcasters on a rare Sunday when none of their series could achieve as much as a 2 rating in the 18-49 demo. Viewing levels overall continue to dwindle during Daylight Saving Time, contributing to declines for Fox’s “Last Man on Earth” on ABC’s “Secrets and Lies” in their third weeks.

With warmer weather keeping Americans outside longer, Nielsen estimates that roughly 30.7% of adults 18-49 were watching television during the 8 o’clock hour last night — down 4% from last week (31.9%) and 14% lower than the final Sunday before the start of DST (35.6% on March 1).

According to affiliate-based preliminary national estimates from Nielsen, ABC was the No. 1 broadcaster in 18-49 and its “Once Upon a Time” (1.8/6 in 18-49, 5.8 million viewers overall) was the top broadcast in both 18-49 and 25-54 (2.1 rating, tied with “60 Minutes”), despite declines of roughly 10% from last week. “Once,” which built on its “America’s Funniest Home Videos” lead-in (1.3/5 in 18-49, 6.0 million viewers overall) by half a ratings point in 18-49, was a tick above its season low set in December.

At 9 p.m., “Secrets and Lies” (1.3/4 in 18-49, 5.3 million viewers overall) was down a tenth from last week and 0.2 below the 1.5 from its premiere of March 1 but placed second among the Big Four in 18-49 for its hour. In Live+3 estimates from Nielsen, last week’s episode of the Ryan Phillippe-fronted mystery series retained 95% of its premiere rating in 18-49 (2.0 vs. 2.1).

“Revenge” (1.1/3 in 18-49, 4.8 million viewers overall) matched last week’s 18-49 score and was No. 1 among the major networks at 10.

Fox opened with a repeat “The Simpsons” (0.8/3 in 18-49, 2.5 million viewers overall) and an original “Bob’s Burgers” (1.0/4 in 18-49, 2.3 million viewers overall), which was down 0.2 from last week. From 8 to 10 p.m., “The Simpsons” (1.5/5 in 18-49, 3.6 million viewers overall) and “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” (1.4/4 in 18-49, 3.0 million viewers overall) limited their declines to 0.1, but “Family Guy” (1.7/5 in 18-49, 3.5 million viewers overall) and “Last Man on Earth” (1.5/4 in 18-49, 3.7 million viewers overall) both dropped off 0.4.

Last week’s same-night rating for “Last Man on Earth” was somewhat misleading, as DVR playback accounted for a bigger chunk of its viewing. In Nielsen’s Live+3 estimates (three days’ worth of time-shifted viewing), the second episode of “Last Man” was down a modest 9% in 18-49 from its strong premiere score (3.0 vs. 3.3) even though its same-night score was 21% lower.

At CBS, college basketball’s tournament selection show from 6-7 p.m. ET seemed to boost “60 Minutes” (1.4/6 in 18-49, 11.2 million viewers overall), which shot up 40% (0.4) from last week. It was followed by “Madam Secretary” (1.2/4 in 18-49, 11.2 million viewers overall), which was up a tenth from its low of last week and was Sunday’s most-watched scripted broadcast series overall.

From 9 to 11 p.m., “The Good Wife” (1.0/3 in 18-49, 8.8 million viewers overall) and “Battle Creek” (0.8/3 in 18-49, 6.7 million viewers overall) held steady, with the latter close to rounding up to a 0.9.

NBC, whose dramas “A.D. The Bible Continues” and “American Odyssey” premiere April 5, filled out another Sunday with a repeat of “The Voice” (0.7/3 in 18-49, 3.3 million viewers overall) and the “Dateline” special “Escape” (0.9/3 in 18-49, 5.0 million viewers overall), with the latter up a tenth from last week.

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: ABC, 1.4/4; Fox, 1.3/4; CBS, 1.1/4; Univision, 0.9/3; NBC, 0.8/3; Telemundo, 0.5/2;

In total viewers: NBC, 9.5 million; ABC, 5.5 million; Fox, 4.2 million; CBS, 3.1 million; Univision, 2.4 million; Telemundo, 1.2 million.

 

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