Is it too late to get The Blacklist back to Monday and pretend the Thursday experiment never happened? After a solid opening on the night last week with the conclusion of the post-Super Bowl episode, the FBI drama (1.7 in adults 18-49) tumbled -26% in Week 2 to a series low in Live+Same Day while its main competitor in the 9 PM hour, ABC’ Scandal (3.1), held steady. The Blacklist is a very DVR-ed show, so it will likely make up some of the losses in delayed viewing, but it did get dinged by the scheduling move. NBC projects that last night’s Blacklist episode will almost double its fast national rating in L+7 to a 3.2. That is still well below the show’s Monday L+7 demo average, 4.6.
The Blacklist, already safely renewed for next season, received no help from its lineup mates as NBC’s drama Thursday is unraveling. At 8 PM, new miniseries The Slap (1.1), generally well received but deemed better suited for cable, matched Allegiance‘s paltry premiere number from last week. And that is with The Big Bang Theory in repeat. The Slap does look like the type of program viewers may DVR and binge-watch. Still, this is a very low start, and the serialized limited series’ prospects, at least in Live+Same Day, do not look good if Allegiance is any indication.
In Week 2, the Russian spy drama dived -36% to a 0.7 in 18-49, a rating I call “a point of no return” as there is no show on a major network that has survived it, with cancellation inevitable — right away or a little down the road. Allegiance‘s cause is helped a bit by the makeup of its audience — it currently ranks as the most upscale new drama of the season — as well as solid DVR numbers — the premiere grew by +48% in L+3 (from 1.07 to 1.58) and added 2.2 million viewers. However, when the base is so small, it’s hard for a broadcast program to get to solid ground even with respectable percentage increases in delayed viewing.
The other all-drama lineup on Thursday, ABC’s, was rock solid. Veteran Grey’s Anatomy (2.3) ticked up a tenth from its fast national last week with lesser competition on CBS. Scandal (3.1) and How To Get Away With Murder (2.7) matched their fast nationals last Thursday. The three series finished 1-2-3 for the night in 18-49, securing a nightly demo victory for ABC.
Benefitting from The Blacklist‘s Week 2 drop was Fox’s midseason drama Backstrom (1.3). After getting pummeled last week by the Scandal-Blacklist combo at 9 PM, the new procedural rebounded, climbing +30% week-to-week. That is despite its lead-in American Idol (2.3) slipping a tenth from last week.
Following a Big Bang repeat (2.1), Mom (2.1) fell -25% from last week when it had a Big Bang original as lead-in. Also pulling in a 2.1 was Two And A Half Men (2.10, down -9%), followed by another Big Bang rerun (1.7). Elementary (1.4) was down a tenth from last week. CBS still edged ABC (8.9 million vs. 8.5 million) for the top spot in total viewers.
The CW’s Vampire Diaries (0.7) and Reign (0.4) were flat.