It was one of those mixed nights on primetime Monday with a debut, a near end, repeats and a rising original or two. The debut was the Season 3 premiere of The Following (1.6/4) at 9 PM after Gotham (2.0/6), with the near end being ABC’s The Bachelor (2.4/7).
Unsurprisingly, the return of Fox’s Kevin Bacon-led thriller series was down from its Season 2 debut of January 19 last year. I say the 63% drop was unsurprising because that previous premiere was on a Sunday at 10:19 PM for The Following and followed Fox’s massively watched the NFC Championship Game between the San Francisco 49ers and the Seattle Seahawks that saw the latter head to Super Bowl XLVIII, where they beat the Denver Broncos. That Following Season 2 debut had an NFL-fueled audience of 11.18 million in contrast to the 4.79 million who tuned in last night.
Compared to the Season 2 premiere of The Following in its regular Monday 8 PM slot, on January 27 last year, last night’s Season 3 of the Kevin Williamson created show was down 19%. However, coming off a sophomore slump season last year, the show did bop up 7% on Monday from its S2 finale of April 28, 2014. The Following was also up 14% from the season finale of Sleepy Hollow in the same slot on February 23. Either way, lead-in Gotham didn’t provide much help – the Batman backstory series was down 13% from last week.
The top show of the night was easily The Voice (3.8/11). Not only was it the number #1 rated among adults 18-49 and the most watched with 14.28 million tuning in but the 2-hour Mark Burnett singing competition series held steady with its Season 8 premiere last Monday with just a 7% dip among the demo. Also, last night’s show actually saw a 2% rise in total viewership from the February 23 debut, the first time that has happened since the fall 2012 season. Worth noting, The Voice commonly sees adjustments in the final numbers so it could end up much closer to the S8 than it is right now. Lead-out The Night Shift (1.4/4) also saw a slip of 7% from its Season 2 debut last Monday. NBC won the night with a 3.0/9 rating and 11.633 million viewers.
Head-to-head last night with The Voice was the penultimate episode of the this season of The Bachelor (2.4/7) Running towards next week’s finale, Monday saw the ABC romance competition indulge in the 2-hour “Women Tell All” show where the contestants from Season 19 give their take on what really went down. What went down a touch was The Bachelor with a 7% dip from last week. ABC finished its night with a repeat of episode 1 of limited event series Secrets & Lies (1.0/3) from its Sunday premiere.
CBS’ only original of the night was Mike & Molly (2.2/6) at 8:30 PM. The comedy was up 10% from last week.