UPDATE: All returning ABC comedies — , and — were adjusted up in the finals — by .2 (Modern Family to 3.9) and .1 the other two. Also climbing up a tenth were NBC’s : and Fox’s Red Band Society.
PREVIOUS: Who needs scripted shows? The nightly 18-49 winner on the first three nights of the new season was determined by unscripted series — NBC’s The Voice (Monday, Tuesday) and CBS’ Survivor and Big Brother last night.
The all-reality lineup worked well for CBS. From 8-9:30 PM, Survivor (2.7 in A18-49, 9.7 million viewers) was up a tenth from last September to log its best fall premiere demo rating since fall 2012. From 9:30-11 PM, the finale of newly renewed Big Brother (2.6, 7 million) had its highest rated finale since 2011. CBS won the night in 18-49 (2.6).
After inexplicably exiling its strongest new comedy, The Goldbergs, to Tuesday last season, ABC finally slated the family sitcom where it belongs — as part of its family comedy Wednesday block, and it paid off. Despite The Middle (2.1, 7.4 million) being down 16% from last fall’s premiere to a premiere low (but matched its May finale rating), The Goldbergs (2.3, 7 million) did what you would like to see from an 8:30 PM show — it built on its lead-in and logged ABC’s best comedy premiere demo numbers in the time period in 3 years. The Goldbergs was down 26% from its series premiere last fall, but that followed the huge debut of Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. (4.7). The Goldbergs‘ Season 2 opener last night logged the comedy’s second highest numbers ever in 18-49 and total viewers behind only the series debut.
Modern Family (3.7, 10.9 million) was down 10% from last fall’s premiere in 18-49 but on par with the May finale and once again ranked as the highest rated and most watched program on Wednesday night.
New comedy Black-ish (3.3, 10.8 million) was up a tenth in the demo from the debut of Super Fun Night in the post-Modern Family time period last fall but Super Fun Night had a stronger lead-in. Black-ish showed strong retention (99% in total viewers /89% in 18-49), the best-ever in total viewers for a regular comedy debut in the slot.
The heavily DVR-ed Nashville (1.5, 5.6 million) was down 25% from its season premiere last year.
NBC’s Mysteries Of Laura (1.5, 9.9 million) was down -25% in 18-49 from last week’s preview behind the America’s Got Talent finale but down only -3% in total viewers and actually won the 8 PM hour in viewers, edging Survivor. It was down -17% in 18-49 from the season premiere of Revolution in the Wednesday 8 PM slot last fall but up 46% in viewers.
The season premiere of Law & Order: SVU (2.1, 10.1 million) was down -22% in 18-49 from last year’s premiere, but that was a two-hour opener resolving a major cliffhanger that logged a big ratings spike. The 2.1 equals SVU‘s second highest demo rating last season and was up 31% vs. the May finale. Chicago PD opened its second season with a 1.9, down a tenth from its series debut in January but up 19% from the season finale. NBC won the opening Wednesday of the season among total viewers (9.5 million) for the first time since 2003 when its lineup included Ed, The West Wing and Law & Order.
Fox’s Hell’s Kitchen (1.3) was resilient against premiere week competition, down just a tenth from last Wednesday. As can be expected, newcomer Red Band Society (1.0) was harder hit, down 23% from its debut last week. Fox projects the same drop for the young-skewing show in Live+7.