The new year was in full force last night in primetime with all of the Big 4 putting up a full slate – though that worked out better for some than others.
ABC showed that once again true crime pays with Truth and Lies: The Menendez Brothers American Sons American Murderers (1.6/6). The 9 – 11 PM special on the murderous brothers was solid for the Disney-owned net and delivered ABC its best results in the 2-hour slot since last February. Perhaps more importantly, Truth and Lies was up 33% among adults 18-49 from the comparable 1-hour Madoff: After The Fall special that aired on February 4 last year, also a Thursday. Fiction free, ABC started the night with The Great American Baking Show (1.0/4), which was up 11% from its last original of December 22 last year and matching a season high.
Still with that, the real heavyweight of Thursday was The Big Bang Theory (3.6/13). Up 6% in the key demo from its last new show of December 15 last year, the science geek sitcom was easily the top show of the night. It also had its best Thursday of this season and its best result since its September 19, 2016 Season 10 premiere and matching its September 26 episode. With a staggering 16.66 million watching, BBT hit a season high in viewers too. The previous audience Season 10 high for BBT was the 15.96 million who watched the December 15 episode.
With that kind of lead-in, it was no surprise that The Great Outdoors (1.9/7). Mom (1.7/9) and Life In Pieces (1.4/5) were all up 19%, 13% and 8% from their last originals. The only blemish on that rise at the House of Moonves was the perpetually struggling Pure Genius (0.8/3), which was down a tenth from its last new show of December 15 last year.
Not that it will matter that much for CBS, who saw wins in both the ratings and viewership for the night with a 1.7/6 and an audience of 8.69 million.
A lot of uptick was not the rule over on NBC for the most part despite Superstore (1.2/4) starting the night for the net even with its last original of two months ago. After that, and with Thursday Night Football now over for the season, it was a bit of a slide. The Good Place (1.0/4), Chicago Med (1.2/4) and The Blacklist (1.0/4) all returned down in their first shows of 2017.
Over on Fox, it was a double dose of Hell’s Kitchen at 8 PM (1.2/4) and 9 PM (1.1/4). The Gordon Ramsay series was up two tenths in the first hour from its December 16 show and up a tenth in the second hour from that last original, which was a Friday.
The CW was all encores last night.