PREVIOUS AM: It was a ho-hum premiere week Tuesday with no standouts, no unmitigated disasters and mostly soft starts for new series. A slew of new and returning shows were schooled by veteran NCIS, the oldest program on the night, whose 10th season premiere beat them all to rank as Tuesday’s top show in total viewers and adults 18-49 with some of its best numbers ever.
Fox’s new two-hour comedy block was slow out of the gate. Anchor New Girl delivered a 2.7/9 in adults 18-49 in both premiere airings at 8 PM and 9 PM. That was down 43% from the fast national for the show’s big series premiere last fall and a tenth from its season finale. New Girl was used as a launching pad for new comedies Ben And Kate (2.0/6) at 8:30 PM and The Mindy Project (2.4/6) at 9:30 PM. Both were down considerably from the season premiere of Raising Hope behind New Girl last year (3.1/8 at 9:30 PM)
NBC’s lineup took a hit against increased competition. The Voice (4.0/12) was down 11% from its fast national last week. Facing first-run comedies for the first time, Go On (2.7/7) dropped 21%, while The New Normal (2.0/5) was down 9%. Go On tied New Girl as the highest-rated half-hour on the night. At 10 PM, Parenthood (1.8/5) was flat with last week.
CBS’ returning dramas were solid. NCIS (4.1/12, 20.2 million total viewers) was down only a tenth from the fast national for its season premiere last fall. NCIS: LA (3.4/9, 16.7 million) was down 6%. Both series had their second-most-watched openers ever. At 10 PM, new drama Vegas pulled in a 2.5/7 in adults 18-49. In the demo, that was down 14% from the premiere of Unforgettable in the slot last fall but easily topped the 10 PM hour. Given the subject matter — 1960s Las Vegas — and star Dennis Quaid, Vegas was expected to be older-skewing. In total viewers, it drew an impressive 14.7 million, the largest audience for a fall Tuesday 10 PM premiere in 10 years, since Judging Amy in 2002. In 18-49, it was CBS’ lowest-rated Tuesday drama premiere in 7.5 years, since Century City in March 2008. CBS swept Tuesday night, winning every hour of primetime in both total viewers and adults 18-49.
On ABC, Dancing With The Stars‘ downfall continues. The aging reality series (2.0/6) was down sharply (by 31%) from last fall’s Tuesday premiere and was the lowest-rated Tuesday opener ever. Private Practice (1.9/5) was down 32% from last fall’s premiere behind Grey’s Anatomy on Thursday but up 12% from its Tuesday debut. It was also up 6% from its season finale in May but down 14% from last year’s season premiere of Body of Proof in the Tuesday 10 PM slot.
Compared with last year’s premiere Tuesday, NBC was the only network in positive territory among adults 18-49, up 17%. CBS was down 8%, ABC 17% and Fox a big 37%.