UPDATE 2:40 PM: What is wrong with ABC’s Nielsen fast nationals sample? Once again, there were major upward adjustments for the network’s Tuesday fast nationals — good news for new comedy series Selfie and Manhattan Love Story, each going up two-tenths to a 1.6 and 1.5 Live+Same Day rating among adults 18-49, respectively. That is an encouraging sign for the two newbies, which widened their margin of victory over Fox’s New Girl (1.3, up a tenth) and The Mindy Project (1.1, n.c.). Also adjusted up again were ABC’s dramas Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (to 1.8) and Forever (to 1.4). NBC’s lineup underwent the same adjustment as last week, with The Voice (4.1) climbing up a tenth and Chicago Fire (2.3) slipping a tenth.
PREVIOUS 10 AM: After rolling out the safer bets during premiere week, the networks are moving on to the riskier new prospects, mostly comedies. First off were Selfie and Manhattan Love Story, tasked with opening Tuesday night for ABC at 8 PM without support against the likes of NBC’s The Voice and CBS’ NCIS. Well, given the tall order, the two rookies didn’t completely embarrass themselves.
There is nothing to crow about — Selfie (1.4 in adults 18-49) and Manhattan Love Story (1.3) logged the lowest fast national numbers for a new scripted series premiere so far this fall, and ABC’s lowest Live+Same Day ratings ever for comedy debuts. However, the network has rarely launched comedies without the protection of a lead-in — most recently Last Man Standing in the same Tuesday 8 PM slot, but it a big star as the lead in Tim Allen. Both Selfie and Manhattan Love Story have young casts with few recognizable names, most notably John Cho in Selfie. With its title and social media-focused story, Selfie did have decent online pre-launch awareness for a comedy.
All in all, Selfie and Manhattan Love Story did not surprise and exceed low expectations, but they did not tank either. They actually edged both Fox Tuesday comedies, New Girl (1.2, down a tenth) and The Mindy Project (1.1, up a tenth) in the 9 PM hour and dominated its direct Fox competition at 8 PM, struggling reality series Utopia (0.8, flat), by a 75% margin.
There was some surprise in ABC’s ratings performance last night, and it came at 10 PM. Remember how new ABC drama Forever exceeded expectation last week, posting a rare ratings gain from the first to the second episode, and how it topped the season premiere of CBS’ Person Of Interest in Live+SD last Tuesday? Well, that was then. Last night, Forever logged a 1.3 in 18-49, down -24% from its fast national a week ago and down -28% from the final. Meanwhile, POI held steady, even with its fast national last week and up a tenth from the final, opening a 30% margin on the rookie.
Also down from last week was ABC’s Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. (1.7), off by 12% from its fast national and by 19% from the final. This is currently the series’ lowest Live+SD delivery but S.H.I.E.L.D. regularly gets adjusted up in the finals, so that may change. According to ABC’s L3 and L7 projections, S.H.I.E.L.D. is not expected to make up the drop from last week in DVR viewing.
After Scorpion on Monday, CBS saw another solid Week 2 hold from a freshman drama last night, with NCIS: New Orleans (2.3, 16.4 million), which slipped a modest -8% (0.2) from last week’s premiere in 18-49 and -5% in total viewers. Its lead-in, flagship NCIS (2.6, 18.6 million), was down -10% (0.3) from last week’s premiere in the demo but ticked up 2% in total viewers. CBS won the night in total viewers (15.3 million).
NBC was No. 1 in 18-49 (3.5) with steady The Voice (4.0), even with last Tuesday’s fast national. Chicago Fire (2.4) slipped 11% from the fast national and 8% from the final for last week’s big season premiere, which resolved a cliffhanger.