ABC’s The Bachelor mounted a ratings rebound with its first Latino bachelor. The series’ 18th-season premiere last night drew a 2.7 in adults 18-49 and 8.5 million viewers — up 17% in the demo and 23% in total viewers. That is a three-year high for the show. The Bachelor‘s ratings resurgence began last season: After dipping to a premiere low, Cycle 17 ended on a high note, with the finale rising 14% year-to-year. The Bachelor posted season-high 18-49 rating for ABC in the Monday 8-10 PM time period, eclipsing every in-season episode of ABC’s other veteran competition reality series, Dancing With The Stars, which debuted a week early. At 10 PM, ABC’s Castle (1.8, 8.8 million) returned from a long hiatus down 14% in the demo from its last original on November 25. ABC still easily won the night against mostly repeat competition. ESPN will likely dominate Monday overall with the down-to-the wire BCS Championship Game.
The two other original broadcast offerings were freshman dramas Hostages and Almost Human. We have to give props to CBS and ABC this fall for sticking with its new serialized dramas whose first seasons had been conceived as limited series building towards an ending. CBS’ Hostages and ABC’s Betrayal both are playing out despite low ratings. Hostages was the first to wrap its freshman and likely final season last night with back-to-back episodes. The 9 PM outing drew a 1.1 rating in 18-49, while the official season finale at 10 PM pulled in a 1.0. Both were down from the series’ previous original on December 16 (1.2) with the finale tying a series low. On Fox, Almost Human (1.7) at 8 PM returned higher, by 6%, from its last original, also on December 16.