ABC stuck with its reality series Shark Tank despite modest ratings for the first 2 seasons, and it seems to be paying off. The premiere of the show’s third season last night drew 1.7/5 in adults 18-49 and 6.2 million viewers, up a whopping 42% in 18-49 and 35% in total viewers from Shark Tank’s Season 2 premiere in the Friday 8 PM hour last year. (That season launched with a preview on the higher-traffic Sunday night, which pulled in a 1.9/5). Shark Tank hit Friday series highs and outperformed its predecessor in the slot, veteran Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, which averaged a 1.4 in the demo in its last 2 airings. More impressively, Shark Tank beat Fox’s Kitchen Nightmare (1.5/5, 3.9 million) to win the 8 PM hour in adults 18-49. Kitchen Nightmare took a hit in the face-off with Shark Tank, down 12% from last week. ABC had a strong night all around, finishing first or close second among 18-49 in every hour of primetime. At 9 PM, the season premiere of Primetime: What Would You Do (1.6/5, 5.8 million) was in line with its previous season opener, down a tenth in 18-49, up 7% in total viewers. 20/20 (1.8/5, 7.2 million) was up a tenth in the demo from last week with a special on the Italian cruise ship disaster. ABC (1.7/5, 6.4 million) won the night in 18-49 and hit season highs in both 18-49 and total viewers for a second straight week.
There was very good news for NBC too, especially in the 9 PM hour where freshman Grimm (1.8/5, 5.9 million) reversed its ratings slide, up 29% in 18-49 and 27% in viewers from last week to tie 20/20 as the highest-rated program of the night in 18-49. It was helped by a 22% ratings jump for the penultimate episode of Chuck (1.1/3, 3.8 million) at 8 PM, proving that with a lead-in, Grimm can do well. Following Grimm, Dateline drew a 1.4/4 and 5.5 million viewers. In their solid performances, NBC’s Grimm and ABC’s What Would You Do and 20/20 were aided by the fact that CBS’ drama lineup was in reruns last night. But that didn’t help Fox’s Fringe (1.1/3), which matched its series low from last week.