U.S. Olympians’ two milestone results yesterday — a first-ever gold in ice dancing and the first two-man bobsledding medal in 62 years — as well as Bob Costas’ return to NBC’s Olympics coverage after a sick leave, helped reverse the streak of Sochi ratings declines vs. the Vancouver Games. (It also gave a boost to the premiere of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.) Last night’s NBC primetime Olympic broadcast drew 23.5 million viewers, up 11% from the comparable night of the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver and a 5.6/15 in 18-49, up 4%. That is the first time the tape-delayed Sochi Olympics had edged the partly live Vancouver Games since last Tuesday.
Fox’s dramas kept steady against the Olympics. Both Almost Human (1.6) and The Following (1.7) matched their series lows from last Monday. ABC’s The Bachelor (2.2) was down a tenth from last Monday to tie a series low, while Castle (1.7) dived 19% from its last original, which did not face the Olympics, also tying a series low. CBS aired comedy repeats and a new Intelligence (1.2), down a tenth from last week.
It was a tall order for the CW’s new alien romance series Star Crossed to premiere against the Olympics. It drew a 0.4 in adults 18-49, a tenth higher than the lowest-ever scripted premiere on the network as well as broadcast TV logged last season by Cult. On the bright side, Star Crossed did better than Hart Of Dixie (0.3) in the Monday 8 PM slot last week and than its lead-out last night, Beauty And The Best (0.3), which tied last Monday’s series low. It actually posted the largest CW audience in the 8 PM hour this season, 1.24 million, outdrawing every episode of Hart Of Dixie.