Snapshot updated with finals: New series premieres:Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders (1.6 in 18-49, adjusted down a tenth 6.1 million); returning series premieres: NBC’s This Is Us (3.9 in 18-49) and CBS’ NCIS (13.2 million viewers) top night.
UPDATED: It was (mostly) an amazing night for NBC, fueled by the This Is Us phenom, and not so great for CBS and Fox. This Is Us was on fire last night (in more ways than one), with the second-season premiere of the hit family drama, featuring that twist at the end, soaring over its highly rated freshman season to set a new series high in adults 18-49. This Is Us (3.9 Live+Same Day adults 18-49 rating, after an +0.1 upward adjustment in the finals, 12.94 million viewers overall) built on its The Voice demo lead-in (2.7, after an +0.1 uptick in the finals). It was also up 36% from its impressive Season 1 premiere (2.8) and up 15% from its previous series high, set by the Season 1 finale (3.4).
How dominant was This Is Us in the demo? It beat handily the ABC-CBS-Fox competition in the 9 PM combined (3.9 vs. 3.3) and ranked as NBC’s top-rated scripted program in the time slot in 10 years (since January 2, 2007, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, 4.1)
With the upward adjustment in the finals, This Is Us squeaked past the Season 1 finale (12.9 million vs. 12.8 million) to also set a new L+SD viewership high.
Coming off that monster lead-in, the premiere of Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders drew a 1.6 in 18-49. It won the 10 PM hour in every key demographic but showed little compatibility with This Is Us and was able to hold onto so-so 41% of the tearjerker’s demo delivery. The Menendez Murders, starring Edie Falco, also was off the 1.8 for the Chicago Fire season premiere drew in the hour last fall, which had a smaller This Is Us lead-in (2.8 vs. 3.9).
The Voice (2.7) continues to trend down from last fall. It was down 26% from the September 2016 Tuesday opener but up a tenth from this week’s Monday’s premiere and from the spring 2017 Tuesday debut.
Two nights into the season, most shows that have excelled, This Is Us and newbies Young Sheldon and The Good Doctor, are feel-good TV that play on viewers’ heartstrings.
CBS’ returning Tuesday lineup took a hit, with all dramas down double-digits year vs. year and no one, even stalwart NCIS, able to crack the 2 demo rating. The veteran (1.6) was down 24% from its 2016 season opener though up a bit from the May finale. It also held onto its crown as the most-watched program on Tuesday (13.2 million) Bull (1.2, updated to 1.3 in the finals), which took the brunt of This Is Us at 9 PM, was down -42% from its series debut for its second lowest L+SD demo delivery, and NCIS: New Orleans (1.0) was down 29% to tie a series low.
On its new night, Fox’s Lethal Weapon (1.2) was down 45% from its series premiere last fall, which led to the season opener of Empire, and down a tick from its Season 1 average on Wednesday. The Mick (0.9) also was below last season’s average (it had a big premiere after football on Sunday), while Brooklyn Nine-Nine (0.7) was down 30% from its season premiere last fall and was just off from its 2016-2017 average. The comedies improved a bit/were on par on their most recent finales.
ABC aired Dancing With the Stars (1.2, 7.1 million), which hit a demo series low, and Celebrity Family Feud (1.3), which was up 0.2 from its Sunday episode.
NBC won Tuesday in 18-49 (2.7) by a wide margin; CBS was tops in viewers (10.6 million).