As big winner Bradie Tennell and fourth placer Ashley Wagner will tell you, there were more than a few surprises last night in San Jose at the U.S. Figure Skating Championship (0.8/3). Just over a month before Winter Olympic Games hit the ice, Friday’s victor Tennell, Mirai Nagasu and Karen Chen will all be going to PyeongChang, South Korea to represent America.
On an almost full night where CBS came out on top again, another surprise was how NBC’s coverage of the skating competition jumped up over its 2017 results among adults 18-49. Clearly without an Olympics directly down the road, compared to the January 22, 2017 airing of the event, last night’s Championship was up 100% over that Saturday primetime broadcast – a potential good sign for NBC coming off the demo lows of the 2014 Sochi Olympics.
— NBC Olympics (@NBCOlympics) January 6, 2018
The other direct result of the three-hour skating show was that the scriptedless Comcast owned net was tied with ABC and FOX for second place in the key demo for Friday. Up 33% in the demo from its last original of December 15, Hawaii Five-O (1.2/5) topped the night among the 18-49s and, with 9.9 million watching, in viewers. With an even MacGyver (0.9/4) and Blue Bloods (1.0/4) up 11% from its last new show, the House of Moonves pulled in a 1.0 overall for its 11th Friday win in the demo this season. With an end of week audience of 9.2 million, CBS also claimed its 12th Friday win in total viewers this current season.
Fox had just one original last night with Hell’s Kitchen (0.9/4), which was up a tenth from its last original of mid-December. The CW also had a solo newbie on Friday with the return of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (0/2.1), which was the same as its last original. Back on the still Murdoch owned network, the Gordon Ramsay cooking competition matched MacGyver and the debut of ABC’s Child Support (0.9/4) in the 8 PM slot, to provide the Disney owned net it best result in 14 weeks in the time period.
In fact, as show after show returned from its winter break, ABC had a good night with Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (0.7/3) rising 17% among adults 18-49s over its December 22 airing. Of course, the real good news for the net was how well the much-promoted Gypsy Rose Blanchard interview did for 20/20 (0.8/3). Like the figure skating on NBC, the news mag was up 100% over last week in the 18-49 demo to hit a season high. Add to that a 120% rise in the 25-54 new demo and 83% in viewers (4.2 million) from its December 29 show and you have a very happy House of Mouse going into the weekend.
See ya at the Golden Globes.