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Ratings: ‘NCIS’ Paces CBS Victory, But ‘Limitless’ Hits Low Tuesday

One week from the Tuesday return of NBC’s game-changer “The Voice,” CBS dominated last night’s ratings race behind the top two shows, “NCIS” and “NCIS: New Orleans,” but the net’s rookie “Limitless” continued its slow fade and hit a low. It was a fairly typical night across the board, with CW’s “The Flash” again placing second in most categories in the leadoff hour and ABC and Fox remaining very quiet.

According to preliminary national estimates from Nielsen, “NCIS” (2.4/8 in 18-49, 17.4 million viewers overall) was up a tick from last week as it continued its highest-rated stretch of the season — pre-“The Voice.” It was Tuesday’s No. 1 broadcast in 18-49, 25-54 (3.5/10), 18-34 (1.2/5, tie) and total viewers. “NCIS: New Orleans” (1.8/6 in 18-49, 12.5 million viewers overall) dipped from last week’s score, which had been its second highest of the season, but won its hour in most categories. And at 10 p.m., “Limitless” (1.1/4 in 18-49, 5.9 million viewers overall) was down a tenth to its low. After a promising start last fall, renewal chances have dimmed for the drama starring Jake McDorman — even if it continues to have a strong following in delayed viewing.

For the night, CBS dominated in both 18-49 and 25-54. And in total viewers, its 11.9 million was more than the combined totals of NBC (6.2 million), ABC (2.9 million) and Fox (2.2 million).

At CW, “The Flash” (1.4/5 in 18-49, 3.8 million viewers overall) was on par with last week (it should hit a 1.5 in the finals) and again shined in its timeslot, tying with “NCIS” for the lead in 18-34 (1.2/5) and winning outright in men 18-34 (1.4/6). “iZombie” (0.6/2 in 18-49, 1.5 million viewers overall) was up a tick, but often is revised downward in the finals; in prelims for the 9 p.m. hour, it tied in 18-34 with Fox’s comedies and ABC’s “Agent Carter.”

NBC saw upticks from last week’s lows for the Tuesday finale of “Hollywood Game Night” (1.1/4 in 18-49, 4.2 million viewers overall) and “Chicago Med” (1.5/5 in 18-49, 6.7 million viewers overall), the latter of which pulled to within 0.3 of “NCIS: New Orleans” in 18-49 after losing by 0.6 last week. Closing out the night, “Chicago Fire” (1.6/5 in 18-49, 7.7 million viewers overall) was on the low side but matched last week’s score and again led its hour across the board. The “Chicago” shows have performed solidly without “The Voice” the last couple of months, and will only rise when the reality competition show is back.

Fox’s “New Girl” (1.2/4 in 18-49, 2.7 million viewers overall) held at last week’s number, which once again was enough to tower over the shows that followed. “Granfathered” (0.8/2 in 18-49, 2.2 million viewers overall), “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” (0.9/3 in 18-49, 2.1 million viewers overall) and “The Grinder” (0.6/2 in 18-49, 1.6 million viewers overall) also held at their low ratings of last week.

ABC’s “Fresh Off the Boat” (1.2/4 in 18-49, 4.5 million viewers overall) was down a tick from last week to match its low, but was again the most-watched of six comedies Tuesday across ABC and Fox. “Boat” should get more support on the night starting in two weeks when new comedy “The Real O’Neals” makes its timeslot debut behind it. Last night, “Fresh Off the Boat” was followed by another low-rated episode of “The Muppets” (0.8/3 in 18-49, 2.6 million viewers overall), which ends its run with two new episodes next week, and another two-hour “Marvel’s Agent Carter” (0.7/2 in 18-49, 2.5 million viewers overall), which also wraps next week. Both “Muppets” and “Agent Carter” held steady week to week in 18-49, though the latter could round up in the finals.

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