Talk about being late to the party. Two new series, CBS comedy Bad Teacher and ABC drama Black Box, premiered last night with only two weeks to go until the upfronts. With the final days before the presentations usually dedicated to firming up the schedule, the two series have two weeks to convince network brass that they deserve to be pieces of the scheduling puzzle. Neither took themselves out of the running after the first airing. Comedy Bad Teacher opened with a 2.1 in adults 18-49 and 7.9 million viewers, improving on The Crazy Ones‘ average in the 9:30 PM time slot by +24% and posting the best 18-49 rating in the half-hour since January 9 when Two And A Half Men was still airing there. However, that qualifies as one of the lowest-rated in-season comedy debuts for CBS and was below the rest of CBS’ Thursday comedy block — The Big Bang Theory (4.3, -7% from last original), The Millers (2.5, even) and Two And A Half Men (2.5, +4%). Still, given the fact that it is a fish out of water — a single-camera comedy paired with multi-camera sitcoms — and that it held onto a respectable 84% of its lead-in while The Millers‘ hold has been in the 50%, it was an OK start for the newbie. Elementary (1.6) flat.
ABC’s new drama Black Box premiered to a 1.5 rating in 18-49. Normally, that wouldn’t be a cause for celebration but with ABC’s record this season, it kinda is. Black Box ties Betrayal as ABC’s highest-rated 10 PM drama premiere this season, topping Lucky 7 (1.2), Mind Games (1.1), Killer Women (0.9) and The Assets (0.7). Of the four, Lucky 7 and Mind Games are fair comparisons as they had lead-ins as strong as Black Box‘s Grey’s Anatomy (2.3, -12%).
The hourlong season finale of NBC’s Parks And Recreation, which featured Michelle Obama and Jon Hamm, managed a 1.0 in 18-49, up a tenth from last week but down 12% from last season’s closer, which followed The Office. A compilation of Saturday Night Live digital shorts delivered a 1.0. On Fox, Hell’s Kitchen (1.7) was flat, American Idol (1.8) was down a tenth from last week, while Surviving Jack (1.0) matched last week’s low. The CW’s Vampire Diaries (0.7) was flat, Reign (0.5) was up 25% from last week.