Before 2012, there had been only 3 movie blockbusters to open to over $150 million. This year, we’ve already had two, Hunger Games and The Avengers, both during the regular TV season. As The Avengers‘ monster $80.5 million Friday haul raises questions about the movie’s impact on last night’s primetime. As with Hunger Games, it was not actually that big — according to Nielsen, the number of adults 18-49 watching television last night was down only 2.64% from last Friday. Of course, the effect was disproportionally larger on young- or male-skewing shows like Fringe, The Finder, Grimm and Blue Bloods, which were all down, while ABC’s lineup led by Shark Tank actually thrived.
Shark Tank showed ABC schedulers what it is capable of when left uninterrupted. Airing a second original in a row for the first time in month and a half, the reality series pulled in a 1.7/7 in adults 18-49 to rank as the top program of the night in 18-49 and beat CBS’ Undercover Boss (1.4/6) in the 8 PM hour for the first time. ABC had a great night all around, winning every hour in 18-49. Primetime: What Would You Do (1.4/5) was up 27%, while 20/20 (1.5/5) was up 7%.
NBC’s fellow newsmagazine Dateline (1.3/4, up 18%) was the only other series in positive territory last night. CBS’ Undercover Boss was down 13%, CSI: NY (1.3/4), which is fighting for renewal, was down 13%, while Blue Bloods (1.4/4) was down 7%. Fox’s The Finder (1.0/4) and Fringe (0.9/3) were each down a tenth. Ditto for NBC’s Who Do You Think You Are and Grimm.