With May sweeps in full bloom, there have been a number of finales peppered around the Big 4 the past week and last night was no exception. However, as Blue Bloods (1.3/5) ended its fifth season on Friday, there was also a debut on the primetime landscape too with ABC’s Beyond The Tank (1.5/6) at 9 PM. Once again, the 10 PM Tom Selleck-led CBS series was the most watched show of Friday with 11.02 million tuning in last night and therefore CBS once again claimed the most watched network spot with an audience of 8.34 million on a night that saw 18-49 usage down 9% from last week.
With a nod to that other Reagan and the 40th President’s famous “I forgot to duck” quip after the 1981 attempt on his life, the fictional Reagan family of the CBS’ family NYPD drama saw one of its own take a bullet on last night’s season ender. That was not the case at all ratingswise with Blue Bloods surging up 30% among adults 18-49 and 10% in total viewership over last week and topping its time slot. That is different than last week when the series took a double-digit hit against ABC’s mega-hyped and mega-watched 20/20: Bruce Jenner – The Interview. Year-to-year Blue Bloods was steady with its Season 4 finale of May 9, 2014 with just a 7% dip in the demo – and we could see adjustments in the final numbers there too. The earlier part of CBS’ night saw The Amazing Race (1.0/5) and Hawaii Five-O (1.2/4) down and up 9% respectively.
As Blue Bloods wrapped up its latest run on CBS, an unscripted spinoff launched at 9 PM on ABC last night. Following the lives and dreams of those who made their pitch on the six season entrepreneurial reality series, Beyond The Tank had a strong premiere as the second highest rated show of the night behind Shark Tank (1.6/7) itself in the 8 PM slot. While Shark Tank itself was down 11% from its April 24 show, BTT beat both the original show’s 2009 debut by 15% in the key demo. Up against Shark Tank’s 2-hour September 26, 2014 Season 6 opener, BTT was down 21% but even with its original show’s last two spins in the 9 PM slot on April 10 and April 17. Pulling back a bit, BTT had the best Friday debut of any of the Big 4 since NBC’s now cancelled Dracula took its first bit on October 25, 2013 with a 1.8/6.
Speaking of NBC, Grimm (0.9/4) was down 10% from its April 24 show to hit a series low among preliminary rating while a 2-hour Dateline (1.0/4) rose 11% on a Jenner free night. With its most watched show in 4-weeks, Dateline saw a 23% rise over last week to 5.4 million viewers.
ABC won the night among adults 18-49 for the fourth Friday in a row and the second this sweeps with a 1.4/5 rating and came in second viewershipwise with 5.9 million tuning in. Part of that came from the 6.31 million viewers BTT had, which made the newbie the 4th most watched show of Friday’s primetime. After a stellar performance last week with the 2-hour Jenner interview, it is foolish to compare last night’s 20/20 to that event programming but up against its last regularly scheduled show the newsmag was down 17% in the demo on Friday.
On The CW it was all evens as Cedric’s Barber Battle (0.3/1), Whose Line Is It Anyway? (0.3/1) and The Messengers (0.2.1) all matched their demo performances last week. Fox played the 2008 Liam Neeson action pic Taken last night to a 0.7/3 ratings result leaving it behind Univision’s 0.9/4.