UPDATE 1:30 PM: As projected, Fox’s Empire (5.1) and Rosewood (1.8) each went up a tenth in the finals, as did CBS’ Code Black (1.2), ABC’s The Middle (2.0) and NBC’s Law & Order: SVU (1.6), while Nashville (1.0) slipped a tenth. There have been updates added to the story.
PREVIOUS 9:30 AM: Barely two weeks into the broadcast season, do we already have viewers fatigue? This is a second consecutive morning of depressing overnight ratings with virtually every series declining week to week. We have to wait for the Live+3 and Live+7 numbers to find out whether viewers sampled the fall programming and some were not impressed, moving to other things, or they sampled, liked and added to DVR lists to watch at their convenience.
Premiere Week Live+3 Ratings: Scripted Series Take Charge As 'Empire', 'Big Bang' Overtake 'Sunday Night Football'
There were a couple of bright lights in the bleak picture. The CW had a second sold premiere night of the season with Arrow‘s eventful Season 4 premiere (1.1 in adults 18-49), up 10% from last fall’s opener, making it the best debut in this demo since the series premiere in 2012. In adults 18-34, the superhero drama was flat. Supernatural (0.9) kicked off its 11th season down 18% from last year’s opener which had a much stronger lead-in, following the record-breaking debut of The Flash. The veteran supernatural drama rose in nearly every demo versus last season’s finale, including 29% in adults 18-49 (0.9/3), and delivered the best 18-49 rating in the time period since March 9 2014.
After the alarming 25% Week 2 drop for Black-ish (1.9), the ABC comedy regained some ground last night, up a tenth (6%) from last Wednesday. The rest of the ABC comedies were down — The Middle (1.9, -14% in fast nationals, 2.0, -9% in the finals), The Goldbergs (2.1, -13%), and Modern Family (2.7, -10%) — while a Nashville tearjerker episode (1.1) was even with last week, tying its series low in Live+Same Day. (In the finals, Nashville slipped to a 1.0, down -9% from last week, a new Live+SD low.) The country music drama has been a major DVR gainer, posting the biggest 18-49 percentage lift for premiere week.
Fox’s Empire (5.0 in fast nationals/5.1 in the finals, down -7% from fast national) posted a second consecutive slip after 13 weeks of ratings growth but continues to be in a league of its own. Rosewood (1.7 in fast nationals, 1.8 in the finals) was down -10% from last week’s fast national as Fox projects that both shows would be adjusted up a tenth in the finals. The network won the night in 18-49 and total viewers.
CBS’ new 10 PM medical drama Code Black (1.1) fell hard in Week 2, down 27% from its modest premiere vs. a 15% Week 2 drop for its predecessor in the slot last fall, Stalker. (With an upward adjustment to a 1.2 rating in the finals, Code Black trimmed its Week 2 drop to -20%.) The declines were smaller for veterans Survivor (2.0/7, down 13% from last week’s fast national), and Criminal Minds (1.7, -15%).
The week-to-week declines on NBC were one tenth (-8%) for The Mysteries Of Laura (1.1) and -6% for Law & Order: SVU (1.5 in fast nationals, 1.6 in the finals) and -12% for Chicago PD (1.5).
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