If ABC last week was hoping for a little bit of luck with new drama Resurrection, which was sandwiched between established Sunday dramas Once Upon A Time and Revenge, NBC was praying for nothing short of a miracle last night, launching two new dramas, Believe and Crisis, with no original lead-in on a night on which it had no recent drama tradition. The last time NBC attempted to premiere a new drama on Sunday was five years ago with the short-lived Kings, with only two brief drama runs (Law & Order: Criminal Intent and Harry’s Law) since then on the night, which NBC has been filling up with reality programming post-football. Following a The Voice repeat (1.4), new drama Believe made its time-slot premiere at 9 PM with a 1.4 in adults 18-49 and 6.5 million viewers. At 10 PM, new drama Crisis opened to a 1.6 in 18-49 and 6.5 million viewers. Neither showed a breakout potential but, given the circumstances, neither tanked either. Believe‘s premiere rating was a little more than a half of what its preview behind Voice did on Monday (2.7), but those samplings rarely boost series debuts unless the pilot wows the audience. For instance, CBS’ midseason drama Intelligence logged a 2.4 in its preview behind NCIS but only a 1.1 in its regular slot debut on Monday. It’s been a rough midseason for new dramas, with no show besides ABC’s Resurrection debuting to more that 1.7 in 18-49. (Crisis and Believe still finished ahead of the premieres of ABC’s three other midseason entries, Mind Games, Killer Women and The Assets.) Crisis also managed to build on its lead-in, a rare feat for a 10 PM drama, and it finished only a tenth off No. 1 in the hour, beating CBS veteran The Mentalist.
Mostly positive news for ABC. Breakout Resurrection (3.0) was down from the its fast national last week (21% from the final) but still delivered a potent number to finish as the top program of the night in 18-49 and total viewers (10.8 million), more than doubling the rating of its 9 PM drama competitors, Believe and The Good Wife. In my book, the network’s MVP last night was Once Upon A Time (2.3), which not only has provided a strong launching pad for Resurrection but also has found a new momentum with its new witch storyline, matching last week’s midseason premiere fast national rating. On the flip side, Revenge (1.7) at 10 PM slipped 11% from its midseason debut last week, barely edging NBC’s Crisis. ABC still won the night comfortably in adults 18-49 (2.1) though the total viewer crown went to CBS this time.
CBS lineup’s ratings were up or status quo except for the one show that needs ratings momentum. 60 Minutes (1.7/6, +13%), The Amazing Race (1.8, even with fast national) and The Good Wife (1.3, flat) were all renewed for next season last week. But The Mentalist (1.3), the only returning CBS drama left in limbo, was hurt by the increased drama competition in the 10 PM hour with the arrival of Crisis, down 19% from last week.
Fox’s new Sunday lineup is settling in. Bob’s Burgers (1.1) was up 22% from its very low slot debut last week when it was also hit by the onset of daylight savings time. American Dad made its 8:30 PM time period debut to a 1.3, down 13% from its last original at 9:30 PM. It boosted The Simpsons (1.9, up 19% from last week), while Family Guy (2.3) was up a tenth. In its second week, Cosmos (1.9) slipped 10% but still delivered a respectable number for a science documentary.