UPDATE 4 PM: As we projected, given the minute of overrun, the premiere of Best Time Ever With Neil Patrick Harris was adjusted down and the Part 1 finale of America’s Got Talent was adjusted up in the finales. Best Time Ever slipped to a 1.8 in adults 18-49 and 6.6 million viewers. That is on par with the May premiere of NBC’s I Can Do That (1.8 in 18-49, 6.5 million) behind the AGT season premiere. Meanwhile, the AGT finale climbed to 2.4 rating in 18-49 and 11.4 million viewers, up +14%in 18-49 from last week and off by a tenth from last year’s finale.
PREVIOUS 9:30 AM: NBC launched its new alternative series Best Time Ever With Neil Patrick Harris behind Part 1 of the America’s Got Talent finale last night to a 1.9 rating among adults 18-49 and 6.8 million total viewers, according to fast national estimates. That is an OK delivery, but expectations were probably higher for the high-profile show given the extensive marketing campaign, the show’s well-known star, its big budget, live elements and solid lead-in AGT (2.3 in 18-49, 11.3 million). Additionally, the Best Time Ever premiere had the luxury of airing against zero original competition on the broadcast networks, something it won’t have next Tuesday when it will face the return of established 10 PM shows (FX debuted Kurt Sutter’s new drama Bastard Executioner in Best Time Ever‘s 10 PM slot last night.)
According to NBC, the series premiere of Best Time Ever qualifies as the network’s top alternative series premiere since 2012 in 18-49 and total viewers, since Take It All on December 10, 2012 (2.2 in 18-49, 7.121 million). That may change in the finals as Best Time Ever’s fast nationals include a minute of AGT overrun, so a downward adjustment is possible. The new show currently is pacing just ahead of the May premiere of NBC’s I Can Do That (1.8 in 18-49, 6.5 million) behind the AGT season premiere.
Meanwhile, AGT’s finale Part 1 is currently up +10% from last week and down -8% from the same night last year. It could get within a tenth of last year’s telecast with an upward adjustment in the finals. NBC won the night in 18-49 and total viewers.
Airing against the AGT closer, CBS’ Big Brother (2.0) was down -13% from its most recent original, while the season finale of Zoo (0.9) was down a tenth from last week to a Live+Same Day low. The dip notwithstanding, Zoo still is considered a likely renewal.