Last night was chock-full of premieres on the broadcast networks, HBO and Showtime, and yet it was a finale that stole the spotlight — the closing episode of Breaking Bad. No numbers for the AMC drama yet but it is certain to set one more and final series high. As for the broadcast networks, they kicked off Sunday night of the 2013-14 season on a low note.
The ratings for CBS are scrambled because of a 15-minute football overrun in several East Coast markets including New York, but the network’s series are looking at double-digit year-to-year drops and new premiere lows for The Amazing Race, The Good Wife and The Mentalist for a second consecutive year. ABC and Fox too logged double-digit declines across the board with premiere lows for Once Upon A Time, Revenge, The Simpsons and American Dad. The third-season premiere of ABC’s Once Upon A Time (2.6/7 in adults 18-49) was down 33%, while Revenge (2.4/6) was down 25%. ABC’s struggle to launch a Sunday 10 PM series continued with new drama Betrayal which opened low with a 1.5/4, 29% below the debut of the now defunct 666 Park Ave and tying fellow cancelled Red Widow for ABC’s lowest in-season Sunday debut ever. Fox’s The Simpsons (2.8/8) was down 26% from last fall’s opener, recently renewed Bob’s Burgers (2.1/5) down 19%, Family Guy (2.6/6) down 21%, and American Dad (2.1/5) down 16%.
Even NBC’s Sunday Night Football, which easily won the night, was down year to year, with the Patriots-Falcons game drawing a 13.6/22 in the metered markets — down 13% from last year’s 15.6/25 for a Giants-Eagles matchup.