Snapshot: No new series premieres; returning series all down except for Fox’s The Simpsons (1.6 in 18-49), highest-rated entertainment program of the night, Bob’s Burgers and likely CBS’ NCIS: Los Angeles. NBC’s Sunday Night Football is highest rated and most watched program of the night by a mile.
Against Premiere Sunday competition, NBC’s Sunday Night Football dipped — from a 13.7 metered markets household rating last week to 12.9. But football still dominated the night with no resistance from the broadcast entertainment series.
The oldest show, Fox’s The Simpsons, opened its 28th (!) season at 8 PM with the highest adults 18-49 Live+Same Day rating of the night, 1.6, up a tenth from last fall’s debut. No other Sunday series was able to crack the 1.5 demo mark. Of the other Fox comedies, Bob’s Burgers (1.3) at 7:30 also was up a tenth from its fall 2015 debut, Son of Zorn (1.2) at 8:30 PM was down 50% from its NFL-boosted premiere, Family Guy (1.4) at 9 PM was off by a tenth from last year, and The Last Man On Earth (0.9) has to depend heavily on delayed/multiplatform viewing as it fell 36% from last fall’s opener.
ABC’s Sunday lineup continues to struggle. Veteran Once Upon A Time returned to a 1.2 adults 18-49, down 33% from last fall, and 3.9 million viewers. It was on par with its May finale and the highest-rated program on the network last night. Secrets And Lies launched its long-delayed second installment with a 1.0 in 18-49 and 4.1 million viewers. That was down 40% in the demo from the debut in the time slot of the short-lived Blood & Oil but higher than the entire Sunday run of The Family, giving ABC its best scripted numbers in the hour since November 15. At 10 PM, Quantico (1.0, 3.6 million), which was a bright spot for ABC last fall, delivered half of its series premiere Live+SD demo rating, while on par with its freshman finale. All three series are heavily DVR-ed/streamed, so there will be some bump in the delayed ratings — just probably not enough to offset the very slow linear start on premiere night.
In the preliminary ratings, the two-hour Sunday debut of NCIS: Los Angeles logged a 1.4 in 18-49 but the network’s primetime was delayed by a football overrun, so a downward adjustment is likely. But, with help from the game, the Season 8 premiere of NCIS: LA, which followed an inflated 60 Minutes (2.3 in 18-49), is expected to end up ahead of last season’s opener (1.2) on Monday.