The premiere of ABC’s Designated Survivor continued its strong showing in delayed viewing. After adding 5.3 million viewers in the first three days of playback — the biggest viewer Live+3 gain for a series opener since the debut of ABC’s How To Get Away With Murder in September 2014 — the Kiefer Sutherland drama has set a Live+ 7 record.
Designated Survivor, which received a full-season pickup yesterday, logged a 7.7 million viewer L+7 lift for its premiere, TV’s largest-ever total viewer L+7 increase for any single telecast on any network.
The ABC drama, from the Mark Gordon Co. and ABC Studios, eclipsed the previous record set by CBS’ flagship comedy The Big Bang Theory whose 12/17/15 telecast, in which Sheldon and Amy had sex for the first time, added 7.2 million viewers. Designated Survivor’s L+7 audience was 17.7 million, up from 10.0 million in L+SD.
In adults 18-40, Designated Survivor doubled its L+SD rating with a 100% L+7 lift to a 4.4 rating from a 2.2. After finishing tied with the Empire series debut in L+3 demo increase (1.4 rating), Designated Survivor pulled ahead. Its 2.2 L+7 18-49 gain was the biggest absolute playback lift for an new TV series debut in two years since ABC’s How To Get Away With Murder (+2.3 rating).
Needless to say, Designated Survivor is the No. 1 gainer in TV playback for any new or returning series during Premiere Week so far in total viewers (+7.7 million) and adults 18-49 (+2.2 rating points), topping the L+7 gains of Big Bang (+5.7 million and +2.0 rating points on Monday).
Beyond the L+7 ratings, Designated Survivor has added an additional 0.55 rating points in Multiplatform + 7 Day viewing, bringing its MP+7 average to a 4.95 adults 18-49 rating.