This midseason has produced more that the average number of solid new broadcast series launches: blockbuster Empire, which has been joined by several other hopefuls including new Fox comedy Last Man On Earth, ABC’s Fresh off The Boat and Secrets And Lies, and CBS’ CSI: Cyber and The Odd Couple. (NBC’s best hope for a midseason breakout is this Sunday, with the premiere of A.D. and American Odyssey.)
Another straight-to-series Fox comedy, Weird Loners, won’t be joining that list after a low debut last night. Expectations were not high for the ensemble show, which opened with a 0.7 among adults 18-49, a rating that often is the lowest for a series on the Big 4 before it is pulled from the schedule. It is a new universe, and networks wait to see DVR ratings before making a decision, but it is hard to imagine a long life for the new comedy with this start.
Weird Loners was down a tenth from the fast national (down 0.2 from the final) from last week’s season finale of The Mindy Project in the 9:30 PM slot, though Mindy had a repeat New Girl as a lead-in vs. a fresh New Girl episode (1.0, down -23% from its most recent original) last night. Depending on how strong its DVR play will be, New Girl is flirting with a series low though there is no reason for concern on the part of the producers as the comedy has already been renewed for next season. At 8 PM, Fox’s Hell’s Kitchen (1.3) was down a tenth from last week.
Mark Burnett and Roma Downey’s latest religion/spirituality-themed project, CBS’ miniseries The Dovekeepers, could not conjure the ratings magic of their History miniseries The Bible. The two-hour opening of The Dovekeepers last night drew a 1.0 in adults 18-49. It did better in total viewers with 8.99 million. That was still well below what the network usually gets in the 9-11 PM period with dramas. (Burnett and Downey are also behind NBC’s Bible follow-up, A.D.). The Dovekeepers, toplined by NCIS alumna and fan favorite Cote de Pablo, had a strong lead-in with NCIS, the highest-rated (2.1 in 18-49, down a tenth from last week) and most watched program (16.33 million, up +2%) last night. UPDATE: In the finals, NCIS climbed to a 2.2 and 16.6 million viewers. It helped CBS win the night in total viewers (11.4 million) and 18-49 (1.4, tied with NBC).
The veteran CBS drama faced a Voice clip show (1.9) vs. an original episode. Sophomore comedy Undateable (1.4) held up OK, down a tenth (-7%) despite its Voice lead-in dropping -32%. Rookie One Big Happy (1.2) was steady. Chicago Fire was a repeat.
ABC’s Fresh Off The Boat (1.3) slipped a tenth (-7%) from last week to a possible Live+Same Day low. But the comedy has been able to open a night for ABC on its own and is a strong DVR performer, just posting a series high in 18-49 L+7 playback growth (+44), so its renewal is not in doubt. Repeat After Me (0.9) and Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. (1.4) were each also down a tenth (-10%) from last week, while Forever (1.0) perked up by that much (+11%). UPDATE: Good week for Forever, which gained another tenth in the finals to a 1.1.
On the CW, The Flash (1.2) and iZombie (0.7) matched their ratings from last week. UPDATE: The Flash was adjusted up in the finals to a 1.3.