Snapshot: New series premieres – Fox’s Grandfathered (1.5), Grinder (1.5); New series Week 2 retention – Limitless (1.9, 100%), The Muppets (2.0, 69%), Scream Queens (1.4, 82%). The Voice (3.6) becomes first returning series to post Week 2 growth.
Curiosity and nostalgia (plus a massive marketing campaign) brought viewers to the premiere of The Muppets to make it the highest-rated comedy debut this fall. With some of the novelty factor wearing off, the second episode of the workplace comedy (2.0) at 8 PM last night was down 31% from last week’s premiere. The decline carried over to Fresh Off The Boat (1.7) at 8:30 PM, but the sophomore comedy was able to hold its own, down a modest 11% from last week. The ABC comedy block, which faced Fox’s 8-9 PM comedy block for the first time, is still running well ahead of last year’s combo of the short-lived Selfie and Manhattan Love Story. The season premiere of Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. (1.7) was down 15% from last season’s opener. (A Quantico repeat (1.0) aired at 10 PM.)
Nostalgia and a large marketing campaign did not have the same impact on Fox’s new comedies featuring 1980s staples John Stamos and Rob Lowe, which opened at half the ratings levels The Muppets did last Tuesday. Stamos’ Grandfathered at 8 PM and Lowe’s The Grinder at 8:30 PM both debuted to a 1.5 rating in adults 18-49. That is at the high end of what Fox half-hour comedies had been able to achieve on the night over the past year in Live+Same Day but still, given the star power of the leads and the largely favorable reviews, expectations were probably higher. Having a lead-in did not boost Scream Queens (1.4), which slipped 18% from its two-hour premiere. Likely the youngest-skewing new series on the Big 4 this season, Scream Queens depends heavily on DVR and online viewing as most of its target audience does not watch TV live — and many don’t watch linear TV at all. It was once again the most social TV show last night.
Impressive Week 2 hold for CBS drama Limitless (1.9), which matched its Live+SD rating from last week and is actually up a tenth from the fast national for the premiere. We’ll have to wait and see if the drama thriller would score another upward adjustment to become the first new scripted series this season to grow in its second airing. Regardless, it already has sealed a full-season order. Limitless once again built onto its lead-in, NCIS: New Orleans (1.7), also even with last week, while veteran NCIS (2.1) at 8 PM was down 16%.
One series that is logging Week 1-to-Week 2 growth for sure is NBC’s The Voice (3.6), which is already up 3% from last week’s Live+SD result and will likely get another upward adjustment in the finals because of a minute of overrun that has not been counted. Kept in the post-Voice 10 PM slot for one more week by NBC, Best Time Ever With Neil Patrick Harris (2.0) slipped a modest 5% from last week but may be adjusted down again in the finals to a 1.9. It is the most upscale program on Tuesday night, indexing at a 118 among adults 18-49 living in homes with $100K+ incomes.
NBC won the night in 18-49 (3.1), and CBS topped total viewers (12.7 million).