The first night after the 2014-15 season, which of course ended Wednesday, was packed with encores, but there was also some very good intentions and a couple of second chances as well. The first of those second chances was the second week of Wayward Pines (1.2/4), which had a double-digit good night.
Without the dramatic competition of the Scandal and The Blacklist season finales its premiere faced, the second episode of Fox’s 10-episode limited series saw a rise of 20% among adults 18-49 compared with last week. The Matt Dillon-led ensemble series based on Blake Crouch’s novels and adapted for TV by Chad Hodge also saw a viewership jump of 21% over its admittedly soft premiere to 4.6 million.
Even though they played nothing but repeats last night, CBS won Thursday’s primetime with a 1.1/4 rating and 5.73 million viewers. Didn’t hurt that the highest-rated and most-watched show of the night was a The Big Bang Theory encore that drew a 1.5/6 among the 18-49s and 8 million viewers.
For NBC it was all laughs and doing the right thing last night as the network gave over its whole primetime to the first Stateside Red Nose Day (0.8/3) benefit to help children living in poverty. Imported from the UK, NBC’s Red Nose Day had a superstar cast of Julia Roberts, Ed Sheeran dueting with Kermit The Frog, this year’s Best Actor Oscar winner Eddie Redmayne, the cast of Game of Thrones, Gwyneth Paltrow, a tea lady Helen Mirren, Billy Eicher and Martin Short taking to the streets, Anna Kendrick as Indiana Jones, Simon Cowell showing he has a heart, and the dancing Nick Cannon to name but a few highlights.
With about 3.2 million watching the live broadcast, Red Nose Day raised more than $21 million for a number of children’s charities internationally, with donations still open for the next 30 days. To that end, if you didn’t see last night’s special, you have to watch this Liam Neeson-narrated rock opera team-up between the Game Of Thrones gang and Coldplay detailing the many deaths on the blockbuster HBO series:
Going head-to-head with Wayward Pines in the 8 PM slot and with Red Nose Day for two hours, ABC’s 500 Questions (1.0/4) took a hit on its second night. The game show was down 17% among adults 18-49 from its one-hour debut May 20.
On cable, ESPN saw a big NBA Playoffs ratings surge as the Golden State Warriors eked out a 99-98 victory over the Houston Rockets in Game 2 of the Western Conference finals. The sports giant dunked a 5.6 overnight rating from the matchup, a 47% rise over the last time ESPN had the Western Conference finals back in 2013, when Game 2 between the San Antonio Spurs and Memphis Grizzlies drew a 3.8 rating. Last night’s game was also up 27% from Game 2 of the 2014 NBA Western Conference finals when the Spurs played the Oklahoma City Thunder on TNT.