NBC’s strong ratings performance last Monday had an asterisk next to it because the network’s series ran virtually unopposed against repeats on two of the major networks. But against all-original competition last night, NBC’s lineup still did well, winning the opening night of the 2012-13 season among adults 18-49.
Both The Voice and Revolution were dinged by the increased competition. The Voice (4.2/11) was down 11% from last week, while Revolution (3.5/9) was down 15% from its big premiere last Monday. Still, NBC comfortably won every half-hour of primetime last night. The feat was most significant for rookie Revolution, which is staking a claim on the 10 PM hour, beating soundly the season debuts of ABC’s Castle (2.5/6) and CBS’ Hawaii Five-0 (1.9/4). The number for Hawaii Five-0 is a little alarming for a marquee franchise entering its third season. (The fast national number for Castle will likely be revised down in the finals because of NFL pre-emptions and possible Dancing With The Stars overrun.) Speaking of NFL, Monday Night Football delivered another strong performance for ESPN last night and may be the overall ratings leader when finals for the game are released.
Most of CBS’ series opened modestly after gangbusters ratings last year when the network’s premiere Monday featured the return of Two And A Half Men with new leading man Ashton Kutcher. The series that succeeded Men in the tentpole 9 PM slot, sophomore 2 Broke Girls (3.7/9), did the best and was No. 2 for the night in 18-49 behind Voice. Its rating was half of that for its series premiere, which followed the huge Two And A Half Men opener, but such comparison is unfair. With its former top performers, Men and The Big Bang Theory both shipped to Thursday, it does feel like CBS’ formidable Monday lineup may be vulnerable for the first time in years. Veteran How I Met Your Mother (3.4/10) was down 28% from last September for its lowest-rated season opener in five years. New series Partners (2.4/6) was off to a soft start as the weakest link in CBS’ comedy lineup. It was the lowest-rated CBS comedy premiere in a very long time (if not ever). It was down from the debuts of such recent short-lived entries as Mad Love, Accidentally On Purpose and last fall’s How To Be A Gentleman. At 9:30 PM, Mike & Molly (3.0/7), launching a season without Men as a lead-in for the first time, was down 38% from last fall’s premiere for its lowest-rated debut ever.
Also hitting an all-time premiere low was ABC’s Dancing With The Stars (2.7/7), which was down 33% from last fall’s opener. It appears that an all-star edition could not stem the ratings erosion for the veteran reality series, especially against NBC’s Voice. Dancing still led ABC to a nightly win in total viewers.
Fox’s Bones (2.2/6) held up well against the new competition, down 4%. Newbie The Mob Doctor (1.3/3) was down 13% from its underwhelming premiere last week to cancellation levels.