UPDATED 1:50 PM with final ratings: NBC’s This Is Us ended its second season on a high note, logging a 2.8 adults 18-49 Live + same day rating after an upward adjustment in the finals and 10.9 million viewers, up +22% in the demo from last week. While This Is Us, the No. 1 program in the demo last night, was off from the eye-popping 3.4 18-49 L+SD rating and 12.8 million viewers for the Season 1 finale last spring, it equaled the series’ highest regular-slot demo rating since mid-October. At 8 PM, The Voice (2.3 after an upward adjustment, 11.2 million) was up two tenths from last week in the demo and had its most watched telecast in a year.
Like last year, NBC used the This Is Us finale to launch a new series. Airing at 10 PM, high-school drama Rise drew a 1.2 18-49 rating after a downward adjustment and 5.5 million viewers. Rise was shy of the delivery of Chicago Med in the hour for its last three originals (1.4-1.5 in 18-49, 7-7.4 million viewers) with smaller This Is Us lead-in, and matched NBC’s season average in the hour. It also was be in line with the premiere of comedy Trial & Error (1.4, 5.9 million at 10 PM; 1.0, 4.6 million at 10:30 PM) after the significantly higher rated Season 1 finale of This Is Us last March.
While Rise’s premiere numbers are relatively modest, holding onto less than half of its This Is Us lead-in, it was hard for the show to get viewers’ attention. First, after a deeply emotional This Is Us finale, some fans may have been reluctant to immediately take another emotional dive with the similarly pulling-on-heartstrings Rise, which will move to This Is Us‘ 9 PM berth next week. And secondly, This Is Us is a heavily DVR-ed show, so there likely were viewers who watched the season finale during the 10 PM hour.
Rise was No.1 among adults 18-49 in the 10 PM time slot, topping the other premiere last night, Shondaland’s legal drama For the People (0.8 in 18-49, 3.22 million viewers). That was down from the debut of Kevin (Probably) Saves the World in October (1.0, 4.2 million), which had a more potent The Mayor series premiere lead-in (1.2, 4.1 million). Last night, Black-ish aired back-to-back episodes — 0.9, down a tenth from the last original, and 3 million at 9 PM; 0.9 after an upward adjustment and 2.9 million at 9:30 PM. For the People, which held onto 89% its demo lead-in and added a few extra eyeballs.
For the People also held steady from the first to the second half-hour and edged the 0.7 average for Kevin (Probably) Saves the World in the time slot, which has become a black hole on the ABC schedule, swallowing a series after series. Still, starting from a such low ratings, the legal drama will face an uphill battle making its case.
Earlier on ABC, The Middle (1.1, 4.8 million) dipped while Fresh Off the Boat (0.9, 3.1 million) was steady.
Elsewhere, CBS’ NCIS (1.5 after an upward adjustment, 13 million viewers for the most watched program of the night) Bull (1.2, 10.6 million) and NCIS: New Orleans (1.0 9.2 million) all ticked up in the demo. Fox’s LA to Vegas (0.7, 2.1 million) and The Mick (0.6, 1.8 million) and the CW’s The Flash (0.7, 2.07 million) and Black Lightning (0.5, 1.5 million) all were on par with their previous outings.
NBC won the night in 18-49, CBS was tops in viewers.