Facing the debut of Westworld on HBO, the two-hour Season 2 finale of Fear the Walking Dead on AMC and a lopsided Sunday Night Football clash on NBC, it wasn’t politics or ratings as usual for the election-charged Season 3 debut of Madam Secretary (1.1/4) last night nor the Season 5 opener of Elementary (0.8/3)
Both CBS shows took hits from last year with the Tea Leoni starrer down 21% among adults 18-49 from its October 4, 2015, Season 2 premiere and the Jonny Lee Miller-led Sherlock Homes modernization falling 27% from its Season 4 starter of November 5 last year, a Thursday.
Now, there might be greater-than-usual adjustments in those numbers because the Sunday primetime of the House of Moonves saw delays of nearly half an hour in major markets such as NYC, Atlanta, Chicago and most of Florida and more because of weather delays in the Denver Broncos 27-7 thrashing of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. With that in mind, 60 Minutes is showing a drop of 46% to 1.4/5 results in fast affiliates and NCIS: Los Angeles (1.5/5) – which is even with its season premiere last week.
If CBS was feeling some shifts in its schedule because of NFL games, NBC took a tackle to a season Sunday Night Football low last night. Not they didn’t see it coming with the Steelers’ 43-14 smackdown of the Chiefs in primetime Sunday. In metered market numbers, that 8:30-11:30 PM ET battle, if can call it that, got an 11.18 rating. That’s down 15% from last week, which was down from the week before, and a low for SNF so far this year. In fast affiliates, the game drew a night-winning 6.1/19 rating and 16.68 million viewers – the rating down nearly 10% among the early 18-49 of September 25.
To add some historical perspective, the 22-0 advantage the Steelers had at the end of the 1st quarter was the most unbalanced SNF start in 155 games — since December 9, 2007, when the Indianapolis Colts were beating the Baltimore Ravens 23-0. That matchup of sorts actually scored lower in MM results that last night did with a 9.5/15 rating.
Although SNF took that hit, NBC won Sunday night easily with a 5.0/16 rating and 13.9 million total viewers in the early numbers.
Over on ABC, Quantico (1.0/4) was even with last week’s Season 2 opener while lead-ins Once Upon a Time (1.1/4) and Secrets & Lies (0.9/3) both were were down a tenth in the key demo. The 7 PM Season 27 opener of America’s Funniest Home Videos (1.0/3) was down a tenth from last year’s premiere.
With NFL overruns into primetime, Fox’s numbers are pretty tentative with big rises for The Simpsons (2.6/9), Son of Zorn (1.6/5) and Family Guy (1.6/5). The Last Man on Earth was more down to Earth with upward movement of just a tenth from last week.