The holiday break is really over as shows are returning in droves this week and new series prepare to launch. Almost all of the Big 4 had something new or newish on last night, with Hollywood Game Night (1.2/4) and New Girl (1.4/5) making their season debuts in whole new parts of a new year – and both taking a drop.
There was a classic sitcom case of mistaken identity and a Bollywood dance number on the Season 5 premiere of the Zooey Deschanel-led New Girl on Tuesday. But now moved to midseason and 8 PM, the comedy suffered a to-be-expected fall from its Season 4 debut on September 16, 2014. Perhaps falling more than anticipated, last night’s bow was down 18% in adults 18-49 compared with its previous opener to hit an all-time opener low. Compared to the 9 PM winter return of Season 4 on January 6 last year, last night’s New Girl was pretty steady, with just a 7% dip in the demo.
Its time-slot rival Hollywood Game Night took a slightly harder hit Tuesday with a 20% drop from its Season 3 debut last July 7. Lacking an America’s Got Talent lead-in, the Jane Lynch-fronted show was surely going to suffer. While last night’s HGN slipped only 8% among 18-49s compared to its Season 2 premiere on January 20, 2014 at 8 PM, it still marked a season-opener low for the NBC show.
On CBS, NCIS (2.6/9) and NCIS: New Orleans (2.4/7) were up double digits to lead the network to an easy win Tuesday with a 2.1/7 rating and 14.38 million viewers. With a crossover, the procedurals rose 24% and a strong 41%, respectively, in the demo from their last originals December 15 to hit season highs for both. (In fact, the numbers were the best the shows have done since February 17 and January 6, 2015, respectively). With those kinds of numbers, it was no surprise the midseason return of newbie Limitless (1.4/5) also was up – in this case 8% as Bradley Cooper made another appearance on the show based on his 2011 film. NCIS and NCIS: NOLA saw dips of 7% and 4%, respectively, from their midseason returns last season but were still No. 1 and No. 2 in the ratings for the night.
Against that kind of competition, the rest of Fox’s revamped comedy night didn’t spike, with Grandfathered (1.0/3) and The Grinder (0.8/2) steady with their last outings last year. Brooklyn Nine-Nine (1.2/4) was down 29% from its last Sunday outing on an NFL-infused Fox but consistent with non-Sunday offerings.
A Shark Tank (1.2/4) special set up the Season 2 premiere of Beyond The Tank (1.1/4) last night on ABC at 9 PM. Down 31% from its Season 1 opener May 1 last year (a Friday), BTT faced off against time-slot winner Chicago Med (1.9/6). The Dick Wolf newbie was part of the other crossover of the night with Chicago Fire (1.8/6) at 9 PM. Without a lead-in from The Voice for the first time this season, Med was down 10% from its last original December 8 at 9 PM. In the 9 PM slot last night, Chicago Fire burned off 14% of the demo that it had for its last original on the same mid-December date.
The CW was all encores last night.