A week before the official start of the season, we have the first big debut of fall 2012. It goes to NBC’s Revolution, the network’s first big scripted premiere in quite awhile. JJ Abrams and Eric Kripke’s post-apocalyptic drama opened with a 4.1/11 in adults 18-49 and 11.7 million viewers at 10 PM last night. In 18-49, Revolution was the top drama premiere on NBC in five years, since the ill-fated Bionic Woman in September 2007 (5.7); the top drama debut on any network in three years, since ABC’s V in October 2009 (5.2); and the highest-rated 10 PM premiere in five years, since ABC’s Big Shots in September 2007 (4.5). It eclipsed the debut of NBC’s Smash in the slot last season, which aired on the highly promoted night after the Super Bowl with a bigger lead-in from a Super Bowl-boosted The Voice. This is the highest-rated 10 PM drama telecast on any network in almost three years, since a January 2010 episode of ABC’s Private Practice. The only element of concern in Revolution’s big opening is the 14% drop-off between the first and the second half-hour, but this is an issue a lot of 10 PM shows face.
From 8-10 PM, The Voice (4.6/12) was up 12% from its fast national last week. Versus the comparable telecast last season, it was down 23%. NBC won the night in 18-49 (4.4/12) and total viewers (12.8 million).
On Fox, the season premiere of Bones in its new Monday 8 PM slot (2.3/6) was down 30% from the series’ season premiere on Thursday last fall but up 21% from last season’s finale. The series premiere of The Mob Doctor (1.5/4, 5.1 million) did only marginally better than Fox’s big flop in the slot two years ago, Lone Star (1.3/3, 4.1 million). It also was down 52% from the two-hour debut of the now-defunct Terra Nova on Monday last fall.
Not a lot of action on the other networks. ABC aired the CMA Music Festival: Country’s Night To Rock special (1.7/4), which was flat with last year’s August telecast but may be adjusted down due to NFL pre-emptions. The CW aired two back-to-back originals of LA Complex (0.4/1, 0.2/1).