Nearly nine years ago to the day, “The Celebrity Apprentice” premiered on NBC, hosted by the man who is now President-Elect of the United States. The “Celebrity Apprentice” premiere drew an average audience of 11.08 million and a 4.5 rating in the advertiser-coveted 18-49 demographic, with its only real competition coming in the form of the Orange Bowl on Fox. By the time the last new episode of the series aired, in Feb. 2015, it was down to 6.1 million viewers and a 1.7 in the demo.
“The New Celebrity Apprentice” — same format, same executive producer, new host — bowed Monday night. It faced some stiffer competition: namely, the start of the latest edition of ABC’s “The Bachelor” and an instant classic Rose Bowl on ESPN that stretched nearly an hour beyond its projected end time. All the same, “Celebrity Apprentice” opened poorly, with a 1.3 rating in the 18-49 demo and just 4.93 million viewers in Nielsen’s preliminary ratings. That was down more than 43% from the last premiere in 2015.
On the plus side for NBC, Chris Hardwick-hosted game show “The Wall” held onto most of the “Celebrity Apprentice” audience, with a 1.2 in the demo and 4.54 million viewers.
“The Bachelor” came in with a 2.1 in the demo and 6.56 million viewers, right around last year’s premiere in the demo (a 2.2), but down about a million in total viewers. A “Jimmy Kimmel Live” special at 10 p.m. brought in a 1.1 in the demo and 3.6 million viewers.
On CBS, “Kevin Can Wait” returned to a 1.4 in the demo and 7.33 million viewers. “Man with a Plan” came in at a low 1.2 and 6.53 million viewers. “2 Broke Girls” brought in a 1.3 and 5.84 million viewers, and “The Odd Couple” stayed at a 1.0 and 5.3 million viewers. “Scorpion” tied “The Wall” in the demo with a 1.2, but beat it in total viewers with 7.25 million.
On Fox, the two-hour “MasterChef Celebrity Showdown” averaged a 0.9 in the demo and 2.92 million viewers. The CW sat Monday out with a repeat of its iHeartRadio Music Festival telecast.
Earlier in the holiday weekend:
Saturday, Dec. 31
ESPN’s College Football Playoff games saw increases from their counterparts last year, despite ending with the same result: Alabama and Clemson in the title game. But the uptick was perhaps more a function of college football being played on the day it’s most closely associated with — Saturday, rather than a non-federal-holiday weekday. The (Chik-Fil-A) Peach Bowl, in which Alabama washed away Washington’s national championship hopes, drew 19.34 million viewers, which was up 23% from last year’s early New Year’s Eve game. The (PlayStation) Fiesta Bowl, in which Clemson shut out Ohio State, drew 19.24 million viewers, up about 3% from last year. Both games were still way down from 2014’s boom crop of playoff games, which brought in slightly more than 28 million viewers apiece.
Sunday, Jan. 1
Fox’s “The Mick,” buoyed by a massive Giants-Redskins NFL game that saw the Giants knocking Washington out of playoff contention, won itself a tie (with NBC’s “This Is Us”) for the best new series premiere this season with a 2.8 demo rating and 8.6 million total viewers. The Kaitlin Olsen-starring comedy moves to its Tuesday slot this week.
CBS’ schedule was as wonky as usual coming off a late-running NFL game, but new drama “Ransom” started off weak, with a preliminary 0.9 in the demo and 7.05 million viewers. (The series will move to its regular Saturday slot this week.) An irregularly scheduled “Pure Genius” came in with a 0.8 and 5.49 million viewers.
NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” regular season finale was perhaps punctured a bit by that earlier Giants-Redskins match, which rendered somewhat moot the outcome of Sunday night’s Packers-Lions game. But it still drew a preliminary 23.8 million viewers, the best one can hope for in a game not involving the Dallas Cowboys.