“NCIS: Hawai’i” scored big for CBS on the first Monday of the fall TV season (a feat achieved even with the competition with all of the other networks back with originals and ESPN’s “Monday Night Football.”) The police procedural, which stars Vanessa Lachey, Yasmine Al-Bustami, Jason Antoon, Noah Mills, Alex Tarrant, Tori Anderson and Kian Talan, was the top show of the 10 p.m. primetime slot, attracting 6.33 million viewers and improving on last year’s premiere of “Bull” by over 40% in the same time period.
The OG “NCIS,” created by Donald P. Bellisario and Don McGill, made a triumphant 19th season return with a premiere that landed the show at the top of primetime at 9 p.m., garnering over 8.15 million viewers and a rating of 0.7 in the key demographic of adults ages 18-49. The military crime drama improved in the time slot by over 91% compared to last year’s Monday night premiere (“All Rise”) on November 16, 2020. Per NetBase, “NCIS” drove more than 7.6 billion impressions on social, while franchise newcomer “NCIS Hawai’i” drove more than 7.4 billion. Also on CBS last night: at 8 p.m., the Season 4 premiere of “The Neighborhood” attracted 5.2 million viewers and the Season 3 premiere of “Bob Hearts Abishola” scored 5.24 million viewers at 8:30 p.m. CBS took the first Monday of the season for the first time since 2017, with an average of 6.55 million viewers, beating its closest broadcast competition (NBC) by nearly 11%.
Meanwhile, Fox debuted the hourlong dramedy “The Big Leap,” which obtained 1.97 million viewers and a 0.4 rating in the 9 p.m. window. The series, created by Liz Heldens, is inspired by the U.K. docuseries “Big Ballet” and follows a group of diverse, down-on-their-luck characters attempting to change their lives by participating in a potentially life-ruining reality dance show that builds to a live production of “Swan Lake.” Though “The Big Leap” may have not made the grand entrance Fox was hoping it would in terms of TV ratings, the network did deliver its most-watched fall Monday with entertainment programming since December 2019.
Year-over-year, Fox increased its premiere week Monday performance by approximately 20% in both the key demo and in terms of total average viewership for its Season 5 premiere of “9-1-1” at 8 p.m. (It had 5.26 million viewers and a rating of 0.8 in Nielsen’s Live+Same Day fast nationals). Per a source at the company, Fox is anticipating strong lifts in delayed viewing numbers for “The Big Leap,” given that the first two episodes were made available on Hulu and Fox Now in advance of last night’s premiere.
Additionally, Monday night brought a plethora of season premieres on our screens, including NBC’s “The Voice” featuring pop sensation Ariana Grande as a judge on the singing competition show, ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars” and The CW’s “Roswell, New Mexico.” NBC’s series debut of “Ordinary Joe,” starring James Wolk and Elizabeth Lail, at 10 p.m. landed somewhere in the middle of primetime’s ranks, with a 0.5 key demo rating and 3.81 million viewers.