As the shine of the new fall season wears off, it’s time to size up how the season is going where it counts: the ratings. Here, we take a look at how the new broadcast network shows are faring and which shows are proving their mettle with viewers. We didn’t include Friday night in this post because NBC has the premieres of Grimm and Dracula coming later in October; we’ll look at Friday night after those shows air. We will evaluate cable shows in another post because TV’s biggest show continues to be A&E’s Duck Dynasty, which pulls in at least 10 million viewers a week. We’ll also talk about Twitter TV and ratings in that post.
ABC has cancelled Lucky 7 and is airing Scandal repeats Tuesday at 10 p.m. to fill that slot. CBS just cancelled We Are Men, which came as a surprise to no one, and they’ll be bringing Mike and Molly back to re-join the Monday night lineup.
CBS comedies are down in general this season (We Are Men was cancelled yesterday). 2 Broke Girls is holding steadily, and Mom seems to be doing OK, but Hostages is losing to NBC’s The Blacklist (a bona fide hit for the network) and ABC’s Castle. ABC’s Dancing with the Stars finished as the second most-watched broadcast of the night to NBC’s The Voice, whose ratings hold has not weakened. Sleepy Hollow is a big success for Fox, so we expect to see the show build as the season continues. Word of mouth on Sleepy Hollow continues to be strong and the show also benefits from a huge DVR viewing audience.
NCIS continues to be a powerhouse for CBS, and that’s not the best news for Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (though it’s holding its own in the ratings), Dads and Brooklyn Nine-Nine, but Fox says they’re committed to sticking with the comedies. We’re happy to see the smart, funny Brooklyn Nine-Nine ticking up in the ratings week to week, even if it’s by a small percentage, Benefiting from an injection of new talent in the form of Sarah Shahi and Amy Acker, Person of Interest remains a strong performer for CBS. Over at ABC, network research reports Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. was the number two show on Tuesday in Adults 18 to 49, just one-tenth shy of NBC’s top-rated, two-hour The Voice. Sidenote: S.H.I.E.L.D.’s post-premiere buzz has been less than impressive, especially for a show that had such enormous build-up.
ABC’s Tuesday night comedies are showing growth potential: The Goldbergs is Tuesday’s most watched comedy this season for three weeks in a row (according to ABC research), but it still faces tough competition from New Girl, now the tent-pole of Fox’s Tuesday night comedy lineup. ABC’s Trophy Wife is slowly building an audience, holding its own against Fox’s The Mindy Project, which is enjoying a strong sophomore season. Supernatural returned this week, and it remains an all-star performer for The CW: The premiere was the series’ most watched episode (2.53 million) and also the series’ highest-rated premiere since 2010 in all key demos. That’s impressive for a show in its ninth season. The Originals debuted in its Tuesday night timeslot last night, averaging 1.92 million viewers.
Survivor had a strong season last cycle, and it’s still scoring well in the ratings this time out, besting Revolution, The X-Factor and Arrow. Modern Family remains strong in the both the ratings as well as the 18 to 49 demo. Meanwhile, Super Fun Night has the best retention of any show ABC has put behind Modern Family.
At 9 p.m., SVU remains an impressive performer for NBC, up 29% from last season, Criminal Minds runs a close second to SVU with 11 million viewers, and the combination of Modern Family and Super Fun Night is a solid presence for ABC.
At 10 p.m., Nashville is beating Ironside, but CSI remains first with 11million viewers. Ironside was NBC’s lowest-rated drama debut. The CW’s Arrow and Tomorrow People have their season and series debuts October 9.
The Big Bang Theory continues to dominate in the 8 p.m. leadoff slot, pummeling Parks and Recreation, X-Factor, The Vampire Diaries and whatever ABC airs. ABC’s new Once Upon a Time spinoff Once Upon a Time Wonderland premieres October 10. CBS’ The Millers won its timeslot last week. We’ll see if that holds. NBC’s Welcome to the Family was the lowest rated premiere, so don’t get attached.
In the 9 p.m. hour: CBS’ The Crazy Ones is first in viewers, but Two and a Half Men is down this season. NBC’s Sean Saves the World and The Michael J. Fox Show are performing decently but are not hits. As Sean Saves the World just premiered recently, we’ll hold off making any calls, but it needs to drastically improve if it’s going to keep an audience. The first three episodes of the Michael J. Fox Show have been pretty good, and we know it’s not going anywhere as NBC made a huge monetary commitment to the show. Grey’s Anatomy remains a powerhouse for ABC. Glee is down 12% in total viewers (4.5 million versus 5.1 million), but we’re expecting an uptick in the show’s ratings when the tribute to Finn (the late Cory Monteith) airs tonight, October 10.
Thursday 10 p.m. is all about Scandal, now a ratings sledgehammer for ABC. Check out this info from ABC research: When looking at total viewer average audience, the Scandal premiere drew 10.5 million in the Live + Same Day window, plus an additional 2.8 million timeshifted viewers in days 1 to 3.
CBS has a solid performer in Elementary, and NBC has Parenthood. While both shows have established audiences, Scandal has serious mojo right now. Fun fact about Parenthood: It’s the number two most upscale drama on ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox this season among adults 18 to 49 living in homes with $100K+ incomes, indexing last week at a 141 (with 100 representing an average concentration of those homes), ranking it behind only Nashville.
The CW: The Vampire Diaries remains a smash for the network: Counting both Live + 3 Day delayed viewing, TVD and The Originals saw big gains compared to Live + Same Day ratings for their Thursday night premieres. In L+3 ratings, the season premiere of TVD jumped more than a full rating point (1.77 versus 2.79), +43 percent in total viewers (2.59 million versus 3.7 million). Note: The Originals has now moved to its regular Tuesday night timeslot as of this week as Supernatural returned in the Thursday 9 p.m. timeslot.
Note: Football overruns on CBS throw the numbers off a bit each week, so we’re interested in the L+3 and L+7 numbers, which we should see next week. CBS has football, 60 Minutes, Amazing Race, The Good Wife and The Mentalist. Led by an NFL overrun, CBS was first on Sunday in viewers with 15.16 million.
ABC has Once Upon a Time, Revenge and Betrayal. We expect Betrayal to fall off the schedule soon as the numbers are low and viewer awareness and interest even lower. Last Sunday, ABC drew 15 percent more viewers than Fox on Sunday night. Once Upon a Time was Sunday’s number one drama in Adults 18 to 49, besting CBS’ NFL-boosted The Good Wife and The Mentalist.
Fox’s Animation Domination lineup continues to perform well. From Fox research: The lineup ranked third in Adults 18 to 49 with The Simpsons the highest-rated broadcast entertainment program of the night in Adults 18 to 49. The Simpsons, Family Guy and American Dad accounted for the top three broadcast entertainment programs of the night among Adults 18 to 34 and Teens.
Remember, it’s still early in the season. We’ve told you about our new favorites: Brooklyn 99, The Goldbergs, Trophy Wife, The Crazy Ones and Sleepy Hollow. Do you have any favorites yet?Which shows do you think will become hits? Let us know in the comments.
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