There were no freshman premieres last night but the first week of the new TV season came to a near close with a near full slate of new beginnings of old standards on ABC and CBS – and not a lot of upward movement.
Friday primetime saw the return of comedy Last Man Standing (1.1/5) and Shark Tank (1.6/6) for the Disney-owned net. Down 15% among adults 18-49 from the 1-hour Season 4 debut of October 3 last year, the half-hour fifth season premiere of the Tim Allen-led comedy was the lowest launch the series has had in the key demo. Following an encore of The Muppets (0.8/4), the entrepreneurial reality series was back for a seventh season, with Ashton Kutcher on-board as a shark, to make some more deals and shatter a few dreams. While still the top rated show of Friday nights, as it was most of last season, last night’s Shark Tank S7 premiere saw some shattering of sorts of its ratings power with an 11% demo drop from the 2-hour premiere of September 26 last year.
The bottom line on that is that Shark Tank hit it’s second lowest season premiere ever last night – only the 1.3/4 of the series debut in 2009 did worse. The Season 2 opener of March 20, 2011 was technically coded as a special so ABC would surely argue that the 1.2 of the March 27, 2011 show was lower than last night but that’s not real math. With that said, it should be noted the Mark Cuban and gang series did see adjustments of up to a tenth fairly commonly last season and could this time round too. Overall, with a surging 20/20 (1.3/5) up 86% in the 18-49 demo and 80% in the 25-54 news demo over last week, ABC won the first Friday of the season with a 1.3/5 rating. For the math lovers out there, that’s the second straight first Friday win for ABC.
As ABC took the top spot in the key demo, the return of The Amazing Race (1.1/5), Hawaii Five-O (1.0/4) and Blue Bloods (1.3/5) returned CBS to the top viewership (8 million) perch it held last year. Now there may be some adjustments in CBS’ numbers with preemptions in the NYC area from 8 – 9 PM ET due to Pope Francis’ on-going jam packed visit to the Big Apple yesterday. However as things stand right now, The Amazing Race and Five-O were even and down 17% respectively from last year’s individual debuts.
The 10 PM return of the Reagan cop clan and Mr. Tom Selleck last night actually saw the Season 6 opener of Blue Bloods inch up 8% in the demo over the Season 5 premiere on September 26 last year. That’s the only debuting show to rise last night and a comparative rarity overall this season so far for returning shows AKA not Empire. Easily the most watched show of the night, as it usually is on Fridays, Blue Bloods had an audience of 9.90 million last night. That’s actually dip of 7% from the fast nationals viewership of its Season 5 debut and down 9% from the final audience tally of last year’s premiere.
NBC’s only original of the night was Dateline (1.0/4), which was down 17% from last week. On The CW, Masters Of Illusion (0.4/1) was even with what it delivered on September 18. Fox repeated the pilots of just launched Minority Report and Rosewood last night.