Snapshot updated with finals: New series premiere: ABC’s American Housewife (1.9 in 18-49 after upward adjustment, 6.6 million); Returning series premieres: ABC’s The Middle (1.8 after upward adjustment), Fresh Off The Boat (1.6 after upward adjustment), The Real O’Neals (1.2).
UPDATED: This Is Us‘ dream fall run continues. Preemptions very early into a hot new series’ season could be pretty detrimental — just look up the fall launch of Fox’s New Girl a few years ago. But neither a sit-out for the Vice Presidential debate last week nor a move to a new, earlier time period and a big baseball game last night could slow the NBC series, which continues to solidify its position as the breakout of the season.
In its third airing at 9 PM last night, the ensemble dramedy drew a 2.8 adults 18-49 rating, up from the 2.6 Live+Same Day rating the show logged in its second week at 10 PM. This Is Us also built onto its lead-in, an hourlong The Voice (2.6, adjusted up +0.1 in the finals), which was down -21% from its most recent regular two-hour episode two weeks ago as it moved from blind auditions to battleground rounds.
This Is Us (9.9 million viewers overall), which also gets strong shifted-viewing lifts, has now posted L+SD demo ratings of 2.8, 2.6 and 2.8 for its first three episodes. It matched its premiere rating in Week 3, the first new NBC fall drama to accomplish that since Friday Night Lights in 2006. This Is Us also is the first new drama this season to grow episode to episode. The 2.8 18-49 rating is NBC’s highest for in-season scripted telecast in the Tuesday 9 PM hour in nine years, since L&O: Criminal Intent on 2/13/07 (2.9).
This Is Us was succeeded in the 10 PM hour last night by Chicago Fire (1.8), whose Season 5 premiere was on par with last fall’s opener and up a tenth from the May finale. Just like This Is Us did for the first two weeks, Chicago Fire too dominated the 10 PM hour.
ABC had a solid launch for its new two-hour Tuesday comedy block anchored by veteran The Middle (1.8, adjusted +0.1 in the final) at 8 PM. The Season 8 opener of the Patricia Heaton sitcom was down -18% from last fall’s debut but up +0.2 from the last two airings last season. It may take a few weeks for fans of the series, which had aired on Wednesday for seven seasons, to discover it on its new night.
Promising start for new ABC comedy American Housewife, a rare new ABC comedy not to get a preview in the network’s Wednesday comedy block. The series starring Katy Mixon logged a 1.9 in the demo, after a +0.1 adjustment in the finals. It built onto The Middle lead-in, the first new comedy this season to do that in its debut.
American Housewife was ABC’s highest-rated series last night, delivering ABC’s best scripted performance in the half-hour since January 2015 in total viewers (6.6 million) and in a little over a year among adults 18-49. The other two comedies, Fresh Off The Boat (1.6) and The Real O’Neals (1.2), both were down from last season’s debuts but up from the finales. Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. (0.9) was even with last week.
Somewhat head-scratching results for the New Girl/Brooklyn Nine-Nine crossover event. Crossovers, mastered to perfection by Dick Wolf, are done as ratings boosters because they draw attention and have the sense of urgency broadcasters seek to get viewers in front of the TV on premiere night. The New Girl/Brooklyn Nine-Nine crossover had the opposite effect, with both comedies slipping a tenth from last week to season L+SD lows of 0.9 each. Scream Queens (0.7) was on par with its final last week.
CBS’ Tuesday drama lineup is showing vulnerability against the increased competition. After solid first two weeks for NCIS and NCIS: New Orleans, the mothership series slipped last week and again last night to a 1.7 (-0.1 from its fast national last Tuesday), while NCIS: New Orleans (1.2) dipped 0.3 from Week 2. Without upward adjustments in the finals these would be series lows for both. (NCIS was adjusted up +0.1 to a 1.8). Sandwiched between them and coming from a week off, new drama Bull (1.6) also shed 0.3 for a second consecutive airing. On the positive side, the freshman drama had a great lead-in retention from NCIS. And the three dramas dominated their hours in total viewers.
The CW’s The Flash (1.1) dropped -15% (-0.2) from its season premiere last week. New dramedy No Tomorrow (0.2 after slipping -0.1 in the finals) is not showing a spark despite its pilot episode being showcased behind the CW’s two biggest fall premiere telecasts — the season openers of Flash and Supergirl. No Tomorrow lost more than half of its premiere rating (-60%) in Week 2 and, unless the show gets some Golden Globe love like My Crazy Ex-Girlfriend last year, it will likely have to go in the miss column for the CW.