UPDATE PM: As could be expected following the underwhelming numbers this morning, NBC just moved in to cut the runs of both A To Z and Bad Judge to their original 13-episode orders, effectively canceling the freshman series which will remain in their Thursday slots.
The McCarthys slipped two tenths to a 1.7 rating in 18-49 and is now the lowest rated in-season CBS comedy premiere ever by a wide margin, three tenths below the previous low water mark of We Are Men (2.0). That is also below the 1.8 rating for We Are Men‘s second episode, which triggered immediate cancellation. Also down two tenths was Elementary to a 1.2, a series low and down a whopping 43% from last fall’s opener. Mom (2.5), also adjusted down two tenths, still managed to log series highs in 18-49 and total viewers (11.1 million) but its Big Bang lead-in retention dropped to 61%. With a .2 downward adjustment, the Two And A Half Men final season premiere (2.4) is down 17% year to year.
Elsewhere last night, the CW’s Vampire Diaries (0.8) got a much needed uptick, and ABC’s Scandal (3.1) also went up a tenth.
PREVIOUS AM: We may have the second casualty of the season. Last night, NBC comedy A To Z dropped another -22% to a 0.7 rating in adults 18-49. That is the dreaded threshold no series has hit and lived long after. Some shows, like ABC’s Lucky 7 last fall and Manhattan Love Story last week, were pulled immediately after posting the infamous 0.7 demo rating in Live+SD. Others, like NBC’s Michael J. Fox Show and ABC’s The Assets, went on for another week or two before getting the hook. Either way, A To Z‘s days are numbered. Fellow new NBC comedy Bad Judge (0.9) did only a little better, also hitting a low.
Last night marked the return of CBS’ regular Thursday lineup. It was a rough transition from football for the network, which was topped by ABC to surrender the No. 1 nightly title in 18-49 for the first time this season. That despite a local NFL preemption in Charlotte that may have inflated CBS’ fast nationals. The net was hurt by soft showings from new comedy The McCarthys and returning drama Elementary.
Following the final season premiere of Two And A Half Men (currently 2.7, down 7% from last fall’s opener), The McCarthys debuted with an underwhelming by CBS comedy standards 1.9 rating in 18-49. That is believed to be the lowest-rated in-season comedy premiere in the network’s history, a tenth below CBS’ previous lowest-rated comedy debut, We Are Men (2.0) last fall. That comedy fell to a 1.8 in Week 2 before it was yanked. The McCarthys‘ premiere rating currently falls right in-between but could slip to We Are Men’s cancellation level 1.8 in the finals given the football preemption. For total viewer lovers, The McCarthys drew 8.8 million for a 80% lead-in retention vs. the 83% retention for the We Are Men debut (6.4 million) with a smaller lead-in. The last CBS comedy to premiere in the Thursday 9:30 PM slot, Bad Teacher, opened with a 2.1 last midseason with a slightly lower 2.5 Men lead-in (2.5). It was swiftly cancelled.
Possibly affected by the softer lead-in from The McCarthys, the third season premiere of Elementary (1.4) fell hard, -33% from last fall’s debut to tie a series low in Live + Same Day.
Things were better for CBS in the 8 PM hour. The Big Bang Theory (currently 4.1) slipped 7% from the fast national for its last airing on Monday as viewers watching live are still adjusting to the programming change. It regained its crown as Thursday’s top program in 18-49 and total viewers (16.2 million). Mom (2.7) did OK in its second season debut. It was below the series debut of The Millers (3.3) in the time slot last fall but The Millers benefited from a stronger Big Bang (5.0). Both series logged the same unimpressive 66% lead-in retention. CBS’ goal with Mom is to give it exposure behind Big Bang before the comedy returns to Monday.
ABC won the night in 18-49 despite a softer start with perennial favorite It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (1.7, down -23% from last year’s airing). Scandal (3.0) held steady with last week, while How To Get Away With Murder (2.7) was down 10% against new drama competition at 10 PM from Elementary. ABC posted its first Thursday No.1 finish in 18-49 in a season and a half, since 4/17/13.
NBC’s already anemic Thursday lineup fell even further to once again finish behind No.3 Univision, tying Fox for fourth place with a 1.0 average in 18-49. Tied as the highest-rated programs on the night for NBC with a 1.1 were The Biggest Loser and Parenthood, both down 8%.
Fox’s Bones (1.3) dropped -24% from last week against Big Bang, while Gracepoint (0.8) was steady.
The CW’s The Vampire Diaries (0.7) continued its slide with another one-tenth drop to another season low, while Reign (0.5) was even to log one of its closest finishes to TVD. Another slip for TVD and we may have to sound the alarm.