Ratings: ABC’s Friday Sags as TV Usage Drops on Day of ‘Fuller House’ Release

ABC has been the top-rated network among young adults on Fridays this season, but the network’s lineup took a hit last night — and Netflix’s reboot of “Full House” may be partially to blame.

Netflix, of course, doesn’t release ratings data, but it only stands to reason that a much-anticipated reboot of a popular ABC comedy that aired mostly on Fridays during its lengthy run would impact television ratings the day (which happened to be a Friday) it was released. The streaming company released all 13 episodes early Friday morning, but it’s likely that it wasn’t until Friday night that many got their first chance to relax and unwind with the new installments.

Fuller House” has generated significant social-media buzz ever since the project was officially announced last April. In December, Netflix released the first trailer for “Fuller House,” which racked up 5.5 million YouTube views in its first day and more than 14 million views to date. The one-minute teaser also became the most viewed video on Netflix’s official YouTube channel.

Overall television usage levels were low Friday night, according to Nielsen, with just 25.9% of adults 18-49 watching during any average minute from 8 to 11. These numbers tend to be move glacially from week to week, so even a 3% decline from Feb. 19 (26.7) was noticeable, and it made for the lowest tune-in for any Friday since Dec. 18.

ABC was hit hardest, with its Tim Allen comedy “Last Man Standing” matching its season low (1.1 rating/5 share in adults 18-49, 6.9 million viewers overall), though down just a tick from last week and still leading its timeslot in some categories. Allen was a popular ABC comedy fixture in the 1990s when “Full House” was at its peak, and “Last Man” would have figured to get a ratings bump last night with a guest appearance by Patricia Richardson (who starred alongside Allen in “Home Improvement”). Curiously, though, ABC did not include a single promotion for “Last Man Standing” during its hit two-hour comedy block on Wednesday.

“Dr. Ken” (1.0/4 in 18-49, 5.2 million viewers overall) was also down a tick, but “Shark Tank” (1.2/5 in 18-49, 5.5 million viewers overall) and “20/20” (0.7/3 in 18-49, 3.5 million viewers overall) dropped sharply from last week to match their lows on the night as ABC overall had its softest night of Friday originals this season. “Last Man Standing” and “Shark Tank” air repeats next week, so we won’t immediately know if they can bounce back from what would seem to be a special one-time surge of “Full House” nostalgia.

CBS pulled ahead of ABC to win in 18-49 on a Friday for the first time this season. “Blue Bloods,” featuring guest star Whoopi Goldberg, was on the low side (1.2/4 in 18-49, 10.3 million viewers overall) but tied with “Shark Tank” and NBC’s “Dateline” as the night’s top program in 18-49 and was the outright leader in total viewers. The Peacock newsmagazine benefited by extending to two hours, dominating “20/20” head to head at 10 (1.3 to 0.7 in 18-49, 1.9 to 1.0 in 25-54 and 6.2 million to 3.5 million in total viewers).



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