It looks like ABC’s topper Paul Lee was half-right in his hypothesis that during the current economic downturn viewers would flock to genres that were popular during the depression. It worked for fairy tales, with the success of Once Upon A Time. But another top depression draw, horror, may have tougher sledding. ABC’s new horror/mystery drama The River launched to so-so numbers last night. The first hour of its 2-hour premiere posted a 2.5 rating in adults 18-49 and 8.2 million at 9 PM. The second hour dipped to a 2.2 rating and 6.8 million viewers, with the show slipping a tenth of a rating point every half-hour. The 2.2 rating matched the debut in ABC’s midseason drama Off The Map in the Wednesday 10 PM slot last year. At 8 PM, back-to-back original episodes of Last Man Standing (2.3/6, 7.75 million; 2.5/6, 7.96 million) were down 12% and 4% in the demo, respectively, from the comedy’s last original 3 weeks ago.
CBS won the night in both 18-49 and total viewers anchored by the 200th episode of NCIS (4.1/11, 20.82), even with its last original 4 weeks ago in 18-49 and logging its second largest audience of the season. NCIS: LA (3.1/8, 16.12 million) was down 6%, while Unforgettable (2.2/6, 11.7 million) was flat. Ricky Martin was no match for the gloved one. Last night’s episode of Fox’s Glee (3.2/9) starring the Latin heartthrob posted a 3.2/9 in 18-49, down 14% from last week’s Michael Jackson episode. New Girl (3.5/9) was even with last week, while Raising Hope (2.2/5) was up 10%. NBC’s Biggest Loser (2.2/6) was up 5% from last week. Parenthood(1.6/4) was down 6% from 3 weeks ago for a series low. CW’s 90210 (0.7/2) was steady while Ringer (0.5/1) was down a tenth.