First of all, let’s just say there was a lot of Dominic Purcell in primetime last night with the actor appearing in the Season 2 finale of the CW’s DC’s Legends Of Tomorrow (0.6/2) and the debut of Fox’s event series revival of Prison Break (1.5/5).
Back after nearly eight years for a new nine-episode run, the Purcell and Wentworth Miller-led action drama Prison Break got off to only a so-so start. Despite strong promotion and previews SXSW and WonderCon, the debut episode was down 53% from what The X-Files revival drew in its regular slot premiere on January 25 last year, a Monday. Compared to its two-hour Season 4 premiere back on September 1, 2008, last night’s Season 5 debut of sorts was down 44% in the demo, but up three tenths from the Season 4 finale on May 15, 2009.
While no one expected the new iteration of Prison Break to reach the kind of ratings it saw for much of its 2005-2009 run, Fox has to be disappointed the show didn’t crack a 2.0. The good news though: Prison Break was up 50% among adults 18-49 from the Bones series finale in the same slot last week. It also won its 9 PM slot and matched NCIS (1.5/6) for the night’s top scripted show.
The ratings escape route for Prison Break wasn’t helped by its lead-ins, with the Season 6 finale of New Girl (0.9/4) even with last week but down 18% from its Season 5 ender of last year. At 8:30 PM, The Mick (0.8/3) was down a tenth from its March 28 episode.
Still, with a 1.2/4 overall rating, Fox did come second among the Big 4 on Tuesday as CBS and NBC tied with a 1.3/5, down a tenth for both from their demo tie of last week. Fueled by the 13.45 million who tuned in for NCIS, which was down a tenth in the demo, the House of Moonves was easily the most watched net of night with an audience of 11.10 million. Down 10% among the 18-49s from its March 28 airing, The Voice (1.9/7) was the highest rated show of Tuesday’s primetime.
Besides Prison Break’s new start, there were some other ends and beginnings on the Big 4 last night. That other Purcell starring show Legends was even with its March 28 show in its Season 2 finale but slipped a tenth from it Season 1 ender of May 19 last year, a Thursday. Opening up its narrative perspective in many ways, iZombie (0.4/1) saw its Season 3 premiere last night close down 43% in the demo from its Season 2 opener of October 6, 2015. In fact, falling 50% from the 18-49 results of its Season 1 debut, last night was an all-time season premiere low for the Rob Thomas and Diane Ruggiero-Wright developed series.
Falling 36% from its March 29 preview premiere, the debut news wasn’t much better for ABC’s Imaginary Mary (0.9/4) in its regular slot premiere. On the upside, the 3.5 million who tuned in for the Jennea Elfman-led comedy was the best the Disney-owned net was down in the 9:30 PM slot in nearly six-months. At 10 PM, Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. (0.7/3) was back for its first original since February 21 with a 10% demo rise.
The rest of ABC’s night saw The Middle (1.3/4) and American Housewife down 18% and 14% respectively from the last originals of March 14. Fresh Off The Boat (1.1/4) was even with its last show of three weeks ago.
Filling out the night, CBS’s Bull (1.3/5) was the same as its March 28 show, while lead-out NCIS: New Orleans (1.0/4) dropped a tenth in the demo. NBC’s double shot of Trial & Error at 9 PM (0.9/3) and 9:30 PM (0.7/3) was down a tenth from last week in both cases. At 10 PM, the Comcast-owed net’s Chicago Fire (1.3/5) was watered down 7% among adults 18-49 from its March 28 broadcast.