Snapshot updated with finals: New series premieres: ABC’s The Mayor (1.2 in 18-49, 4.1 million Live+Same Day), ABC’s Kevin (Probably) Saves the World (1.0, 4.2 million); new series Week 2: NBC’s Law & Order True Crime (1.1 in 18-49 after downward adjustment, -31%, 4.8 million); returning series premieres: ABC’s comedies down year-to-year, led by The Middle (1.6, 6.2 million).
UPDATED: Because of eleventh-hour deals for the Roseanne and American Idol revivals, ABC picked up only three new comedy series in May, with only one, The Mayor, landing on the fall schedule. When ABC unveiled its fall lineup at the upfronts, with The Mayor behind Black-ish on Tuesday, NBC had just announced a surprise move of its biggest drama, This Is Us, to Thursdays. But a week later, NBC reversed its decision, ABC didn’t blink, and Black-ish and The Mayor ended up facing the highest-rated broadcast drama series head-on in the Tuesday 9 PM hour.
While supported by a substantial marketing campaign and strong reviews, The Mayor still had the daunting task of being an unknown quantity against a hot, established hit in This Is Us. That proved too hard to overcome, and The Mayor launched to a modest 1.2 adults 18-49 rating and 4.1 million viewers, the lowest marks for an ABC comedy last night. It showed a solid 80% retention of its Black-ish demo lead-in (1.5, 4.7 million viewers overall).
The Mayor led to another new series premiere, ABC’s spiritual drama-comedy Kevin (Probably) Saves the World at 10 PM, which slipped in the demo to a 1.0 while ticking up in total viewers to 4.2 million. It was another rough start in what has become a black hole of a time slot for ABC on Tuesday. Kevin‘s Live+Same Day demo delivery was below that for the season premiere of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (1.1, 3.4 million) in the time period last fall, though its viewership was larger. Kevin still finished last in the hour in total viewers but tied CBS’ NCIS: New Orleans for No. 2 in 18-49.
ABC’s strongest performer last night was veteran comedy The Middle, which opened its ninth and final season with a 1.6 in 18-49, down a modest 11% from its fall 2016 opener, and 6.1 million viewers. Fresh Off the Boat (1.4 after upward adjustment, 4.5 million), which relocated to the 8:30 PM slot, was off by 13% from last fall’s 9 PM premiere. Both The Middle and FOTB were up a notch from their finales and season averages. Black-ish (1.5, 4.7 million) was down 25% in the demo from its season premiere last fall in its cushy old time slot behind Modern Family on Wednesday but did OK as new Tuesday 9 PM anchor, improving a bit on its FIOTB lead-in while taking the brunt of This Is Us and matching its most recent Wednesday season average.
NBC saw across-the-board week-to-week declines as the broadcasters faced MLB playoff action on cable, while CBS and Fox were roughly on par.
After holding up so well in Week 2 on Monday, The Voice (2.3 after upward adjustment, 10.2 million) fell 15% from its Tuesday debut. This Is Us (3.1, -18% from the fast national for its big Season 2 premiere last week, 11.1 million) but still built onto its lead in and ranked as the highest-rated program of the night in 18-49 by a wide margin. At 10 PM, Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders (1.1 after downward adjustment, 5.1 million), was down 31% from the 18-49 fast national for the series premiere. Its This Is Us demo lead-in retention fell to underwhelming 35%.
CBS veteran NCIS (1.4, 13.5 million), whose longtime cast member Pauley Perrette just announced she will be leaving at the end of this season, was down 13% in the demo and up a tick in viewers. Bull (1.2, 10.8 million) and NCIS: New Orleans (1.0, 9.2) were even in the 18-49 demo and also improved a bit in total viewers. It’s worth it to note that NCIS: NO‘s audience was bigger than NBC’s and ABC’s dramas in the hour combined.
It helped CBS top the night in total viewers. NBC led each hour in adults 18-49.
Fox’s Lethal Weapon (1.1) slipped a tenth in the demo from its premiere, while The Mick (0.9) held steady and Brooklyn Nine-Nine (0.6) slipped a tenth after downward adjustment.