Last night’s ratings continued the trend this premiere week of new comedies on average opening stronger than the dramas. Two more high-profile new dramas, ABC’s Charlie’s Angels and NBC’s Prime Suspect, had lackluster openings, while NBC’s comedy Whitney was promising. CBS’ Person of Interest was solid (as has been every series — new or returning — on CBS this week), but at first blush it looks more like The Mentalist than the series it replaced, CSI, in terms of breakout potential. Here is the rundown network-by-network.
ABC’s Charlie’s Angels reboot (2.1/6 in 18-49, 8.7 million) got off to a slow start given its pre-sold title. (Last fall, CBS’ Hawaii Five-0 reboot premiered with a 3.9 demo rating.) Still, Charlie’s Angels was up 31% from last fall’s debut in the slot of My Generation, which was canceled a couple of weeks later. Despite a slightly better lead-in this year, Grey’s Anatomy‘s (4.1/10) two-hour premiere was down 24% from last season’s hourlong opener (which too was down 21% year-to-year) to log the veteran medical drama’s lowest-rated season premiere. ABC (3.4/9, 9.8 million) was third for the night in demo and viewers.
CBS opened big with two back-to-back episodes of The Big Bang Theory, which drew a 4.8/15 — down a fraction (2%) from Big Bang‘s Thursday debut last fall — and 14.1 million viewers at 8 PM and a 5.0/14 and 14.7 million at 8:30 PM. Big Bang was the top program of the night by a wide margin in both 18-49 and total viewers. Person of Interest (3.1/8, 13.2 million) was down 9% in the demo from last fall’s premiere of veteran CSI in the Thursday 9 PM hour. The Mentalist (2.8/7, 13.4 million) was down 18% from last season’s opener. CBS (3.6/10, 13.4 million) finished No. 2 in 18-49 and first in viewers.
NBC’s 8-9 PM comedies, Community (1.7/5) and Parks and Recreation (2.0/8) were down 23% and 38%, respectively, from their premieres last year to post their lowest-rated openers to date. (Parks and Rec aired behind The Office last season, which is contributing to the steeper decline.) The Office (3.9/10), which resolved the cliffhanger of Michael Scott’s successor and introduced new leading man James Spader, was down 11%. At 9:30 PM, Whitney Cummings’ Whitney (3.2/8) didn’t do as well as Cummings’ other new comedy series this season, 2 Broke Girls on CBS, but was was still solid, especially by NBC standards. Compared with last fall’s debut of Outsourced in the time slot, it was down 11%. At 10 PM, the Prime Suspect remake (1.8/5) marked the lowest-rated fall Thursday series debut ever on NBC. NBC (2.4/6, 5.7 million) finished fourth for the night.
Good news for Fox’s The X Factor after that below-expectations Wednesday premiere: Its second episode last night (4.1/11, 12.1 million viewers) held up well, down only a tenth in the 18-49 fast nationals-to-fast nationals and flat in viewers. Like yesterday, X Factor is projected to go up a two tenths of a 18-49 rating in the finals. (UPDATE: It did – X Factor‘s finals for last night are 4.3 in 18-49 and 12.5 million viewers.) The two-hour X Factor gave Fox its first-ever Thursday night win during premiere week among adults 18-49. It was the network’s highest-rated Thursday in 15 years among 18-49 and 18 years in total viewers.