The first week of daylight saving time is almost over and the Big 4 must be hopeful that viewers are settling into the sunlight shift as almost everyone took a hit (or a slap) last night. There were family dinners and bruised egos on CBS’ The Big Bang Theory (4.4/16), and the network also had ACC Tournament college basketball preemptions in several markets across primetime. All of which saw the highest-rated and most watched Big Bang (16.08 million) dip 8% among adults 18-49 and down 11% in viewers from last week. Also on CBS, the fourth week of The Odd Couple (2.6/9) took a 13% stumble. Following a BBT encore, a new Mom (2.3/7) was up 5% from its March 5 show.
The real winner was Elementary (1.5/5), which was up 15% in the key demo against fresh competition from NBC’s recently moved limited series The Slap (0.8/2) and Week 2 of ABC’s American Crime (1.4/5). With the Sherlock Holmes modernization winning the 10 PM slot, the NBC show was down 25% in its fifth week and the new(ish) ABC limited series from Oscar winner John Ridley fell a hard 30% from last week.
On the first Thursday of Daylight Savings, which saw a 7% overall usage, CBS won the night in the demo and total viewers with a 2.4/8 rating and 10.196 million watching.
With NBC have shuffled its troubled Thursday deck late last week, only The Blacklist (1.7/5) remained in its regular slot. Which worked out OK for the James Spader series, which slipped 6% from last week. Yes, in preliminary numbers that ties the show’s series low, but Blacklist commonly sees adjustments in later ratings so a change could come. NBC started the night by playing to its strengths with the new Dateline: The Real Blacklist (0.8/3). Unfortunately the news mag version of the Spader show didn’t gain traction for the network — it was even with what the struggling Slap got in the slot last week.
It was all American Idol (1.7/6) on Fox last night with the dozen top hopefuls belting out their tunes live. Of course, having a guest appearance or two from the cast of blockbuster sister show Empire helped turn up the star power. Taraji P. Henson gave some official results and teased the hip-hop drama’s season finale next week, and her TV sons Jussie Smollett and Bryshere Y. Gray took the stage to do a song of their own off Empire’s just-released soundtrack. Still, with usage down 9% from 8-10 PM on this Daylight Savings Thursday, it didn’t help as Idol fell back 22% from last week – though we might see an adjustment in later ratings.
American Crime wasn’t the only one to feel ratings pain on ABC last night. Both Shonda Rhimes shows Grey’s Anatomy (2.1/7) and Scandal (2.6/8) were down 13% from last week to match lows in preliminary ratings, with the former hitting a series low and the latter a season low.
On The CW, Vampire Diaries (0.6/2) was down 14% from its last original February 19 to a series low in early numbers. Lead-out Reign (0.4/1) was even with its last new show February 19.