There were some new faces, there were some old(er) faces, there were some bittersweet homecomings, there was Sue Sylvester and of course there were some tunes on the 2-hour debut of the sixth and final season of Glee (0.7/2) last night.
Moved to Fridays by Fox for its last cycle, the Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk and Ian Brennan created high school musical dramady was destined to stumble from its last season premiere on the much more watched Thursday. And it did – 65% among adults 18-49 from what the Season 5 premiere on September 26, 2013 at 9 PM. Unsurprisingly, relegated to Friday nights, that’s the lowest rated Glee debut ever. However, compared to its last original, the Tuesday night S5 finale of May 13, 2014, last night’s Glee was actually up – 17% in the key demo and 21% in total viewers to 2.3 million. Additionally, in the context of the time slot, last night Glee was up 39% from the last episode of the now cancelled Utopia to play on Friday nights on Fox and gave the network its best result in the demo since late September. With Friday night shows often seeing a larger than usual digital lift, Fox are projecting that Glee will rise to a 1.1 rating in Live + 3 day and up to a 1.3 in Live + 7 Day – we’ll see.
Elsewhere on Friday night, ABC hit the real high notes. Not only did the network win the night among the 18-49 s with a 1.6/5 rating but also it had its most watched Friday of the season so far with 7.14 million viewers. It started off well for ABC with comedies Last Man Standing (1.6/6) and freshman Cristela (1.3/4) both hitting season highs as they returned from their winter breaks. The former was up 45% from its last original on December 12 last year while the Roseanne Barr guest starring latter leap 65% from its last new show on the same pre-Christmas date. Also back for the first time in 4 weeks with an original, Shark Tank (1.9/6) was up 27% as was ABC’s primetime closer 20/20 (1.4/5). The biz reality series was, as it commonly is on Fridays, the top rated show of the night.
Over on CBS, who topped the night in viewers with an audience of 10.81 million, things were pretty steady. Both Undercover Boss (1.5/5) and Hawaii 5-O (1.5/5) bopped up a slight 7% from their winter break returns of last week. The most watched show of the night with 12.63 million viewers, its best in almost a year, Blue Bloods (1.4/5) was even with last week to tie a season high in the demo.
Starting off with a Grimm (0.5/2) encore NBC had Dateline (1.1/4) and a special Countdown To The Globe Globes (0.5/2) in anticipation of Sunday’s sloshy ceremony. The news mag series was up 10% from last week. The celeb heavy GG special didn’t do any great shakes but it can take consolation that it was at least even in fast national with the live, highly promoted and highly disappointing Hollywood Film Awards that debuted on CBS on November 14 at 8 PM. Unlike the Golden Globes that it is trying to emulate to some degree, the HFA did not prove the Awards season kickoff that CBS had hoped for.
The only new show on the CW last night was Masters Of Illusion (0.2/1), which very unmagically was down a hard 33% from its last original of September 26.