If a rerun of The Big Bang Theory is the top program of the night by a landslide, it must be summer. CBS’ comedy juggernaut (2.2 among adults 18-49 for a repeat) ruled the first night after the official end of the 2013-14 broadcast season, which featured two premieres and a finale. After a four-year break, NBC’s Last Comic Standing returned last night, drawing a 1.7 in 18-49 for its eighth season premiere. That was down 15% from the show’s last season debut in June 2010, but a lot has changed in four years, so that number is pretty solid. It tied the iHeart Radio Music Awards as the top rating NBC has seen on Thursday in months. It outperformed significantly NBC’s recent in-season unscripted premiere, American Dream Builders, and built on its lead-in, Hollywood Game Night (1.1), by 55%.
Last Comic also almost doubled the rating for the other premiere last night, Fox dark drama Gang Related (0.9), originally picked up for midseason 2014. Despite a solid lead-in from Kitchen Nightmares (1.5, down 12% from last week), Gang Related‘s performance was more in line with a low-cost import (NBC’s Crossing Lines and Saving Hope opened with a 0.7 last summer) than a Hollywood-made original drama (CBS’ Under The Dome premiered with a 3.2 in 18-49 last summer, ABC’s Mistresses with a 1.2). The Gang Related debut was even outperformed by two drama acquisitions that launched last summer, ABC’s Motive (1.3) and NBC’s Siberia (1.1).
Surrounded by repeats, the season (and series) finale of CBS’ Bad Teacher (1.1) was down 21% from last week to a series low. Also down by double digits to a new low after losing its Grey’s Anatomy lead-in was ABC’s sure to be cancelled drama Black Box (0.8), down 27% from last week. NBC won the night in 18-49 (1.5), CBS was tops in total viewers (5.8 million)