Any premiere with a 3 in front of the adults 18-49 is a cause for celebration these days — in-season or off. The ninth season debut of NBC’s America’s Got Talent last night drew a 3.0 in 18-49. That was down a tenth from last summer’s Season 8 debut, which was the veteran talent show’s lowest to date. But last year, the AGT premiere followed a Voice results show while it was a self-starter last night, so the hold was pretty solid. And in total viewers, AGT actually ticked up year-to-year, from 11.1 million to 11.91 million. It was followed by the premiere of NBC’s medical drama The Night Shift, originally intended for midseason. It posted a 1.6 in 18-49, holding onto just over half of its AGT lead-in. Night Shift was up a tenth from the debut last summer of the now defunct Camp, which logged a 1.5 for its series premiere that followed AGT‘s 2.7 that night and qualifies as NBC’s highest summer drama series debut in five years. In total viewers, Night Shift drew 7.8 million viewers, NBC’s largest audience for a drama in the Tuesday 10 PM hour since Feb. 4.
Fox had a pretty dismal night with Riot (0.6), which actually ticked up a tenth from its anemic premiere two weeks ago, and I Wanna Marry “Harry” (0.4), which plummeted 43% from last week’s debut that followed American Idol. That made for a very low nightly average of a 0.5 in 18-49 and 1.29 million viewers, which could be the lowest ever for all original programming on a Big 4 network. Fox finished behind NBC (2.5 in 18-49, 10.5 million), ABC (1.2, 3.8 million), CBS (1.1, 7.5 million), Univision (1.1, 2.9 million) and Telemundo (0.6, 1.38 million), barely edging the CW (0.3, 1.1 million), which aired drama reruns. Fox’s ranking will likely slip even further when cable ratings are released later today.
ABC had a decent night with Extreme Weight Loss (1.3), which launched its new season up 8% from last summer’s premiere. The weight loss series proved a better lead-in for Celebrity Wife Swap (1.2) which spiked 33% from its most recent telecast in the Tuesday 10 PM for a season high. Like the CW, CBS aired drama reruns.