Pre-fall launches continued last night with the season premiere of CBS veteran Survivor and previews of new NBC comedies Up All Night and Free Agents, while two summer staples, NBC’s America’s Got Talent and CBS’ Big Brother, wrapped their seasons.
Encouraging news for NBC’s new Christina Applegate-starring comedy Up All Night, which opened with a 3.7/10 at 10 PM, following the season finale of Talent (3.5/10 in adults 18-49). It built on its lead-in and ranked as the top program of the night in the demo. Up All Night can use the sampling as it has been tasked with anchoring a new Wednesday 8-9 PM comedy block for NBC starting next week. It is not clear how much help it will get from its companion, the Hank Azaria-starring Free Agents, which faltered in the preview last night, posting a 2.1/6 and dropping almost half of its Up All Night lead-in. Overall, the rookie comedies (average of 2.9/8 in 18-49) performed better than the now-defunct legal drama Outlaw (2.4/7), which NBC previewed behind the Talent finale last September. As for Talent (3.5/10), it was down 10% vs. last year’s finale, but comparing fast nationals-to-fast nationals, it was down 5%. NBC (3.3/9, 12.3 million) won the night in 18-49 and total viewers.
CBS’ Survivor: South Pacific (3.4/10), the 23rd installment of the venerable reality franchise, was down 15% from last fall’s premiere (vs. the fast national rating, it was down 13%), while it was up 6% from last spring’s debut. The finale of Big Brother, which was just renewed for another cycle, posted a 2.9/8, even with last year’s closer.
Maybe it was the “all-stars” format, the move from 8 PM to 9 PM, the fact that last year it launched a week earlier avoiding the Survivor and Talent finales or a combination of all three, but the CW’s America’s Next Top Model (1.9 million, 1.0 rating in 18-34) took a dive from last fall’s premiere, down 33% in viewers and 29% in 18-34. It didn’t get any help from its lead-in, new reality series H8R, which managed 1.3 million viewers and a 0.7/2 in 18-34 in its debut. Still, because the CW has struggled mightily in the reality genre in the past few years, that was the best showing for an unscripted debut on the network since Hitched or Ditched in May 2009.