Snapshot: New-ish series premiere: Fox’s Last Man Standing (1.8 in 18-49 Live+Same Day rating, 8.0 million viewers), Fox’s Cool Kids (1.5, 6.8 million)

Between the two revivals this fall — of a comedy with a liberal central character and tone, the Trump-bashing Murphy Brown, and a conservative one, Last Man Standing, it’s the latter that netted strong ratings in its return.

The Season 7 premiere of Last Man Standing on a new network, Fox, drew a 1.8 in adults 18-49 Live+same day rating and 8.0 total viewers. That was well above the series’ most recent Season 6 premiere on ABC in fall 2016 (1.1, 6 million). In fact, this was LMS‘ best demo L+SD delivery since the Season 2 debut in 2012 which marked the comedy’s first outing on Friday after an initial run on Tuesday.

Despite airing on the slower-trafficked Friday night, LMS topped the Thursday premiere of CBS’ Murphy Brown (1.1, 7.5 million). Like with the huge ratings return of Roseanne last spring, the strong numbers for LMS likely indicate an appetite for shows that provide a different perspective to most fare on TV.

LMS, the top program on Friday in 18-49, led Fox’s switch from single-camera to multi-camera comedies. Its initial numbers validate the switch, as it was Fox’s most watched comedy on any night in nearly seven years excluding NFL lead-ins, since October 2011 (The Simpsons, 8.1 million).

The Cool Kids
Patrick McElhenney/Fox

Last Man Standing starring Tim Allen was used as a launch pad for another multi-cam sitcom, The Cool Kids (1.5, 6.8 million), which did solid business, holding onto 83% of its LMS lead-in.

Fox closed out Friday with Hell’s Kitchen (0.9, 3.1 million), which was on par with its season average/previous premiere in the demo. The network won Friday night in the demo with a +63% advantage over its closest competitor, CBS (1.3 vs. 0.8) with its highest-rated Friday night in seven years. It was the network’s third consecutive premiere week nightly win in the demo this fall (Wed-Fri), including a tie.

Because of Hell’s Kitchen very modest viewership, Fox conceded the top L+SD viewership crown to CBS (7.3 million to 5.3 million). Still, driven by LMS, Fox posted its most watched Friday with entertainment in over nine and a half years.

The only other network to roll out its full fall Friday lineup last night was CBS whose dramas returned about a tenth in the demo and a million viewers below last fall’s openers. MacGyver (0.7, 5.8 million) and Hawaii Five-0 (0.9, 7.4 million) also were off by a tenth from their prior season averages while Blue Bloods (0.9, 8.7 million), once again the most watched program on Friday, was on par.

ABC aired two-hour documentary Truth and Lies: Jonestown, Paradise Lost (0.6, 3.1 million) leading into 20/20 (0.7, 5.8), while NBC ran encored premieres of promising new drama series Manifest and New Amsterdam, which drew more than 3 million additional sets of eyeballs each.

8 PM

NBC R-MANIFEST 0.5 in 18-49, 3.798 million viewers

CBS P-MACGYVER 0.7, 5.768

ABC TRUTH & LIES 0.6, 3.175

FOX P-LAST MAN STANDING 1.8, 8.013

CW ILLUSION 0.2, 1.151

8:30 PM

NBC R-MANIFEST 0.5, 3.615

CBS P-MACGYVER 0.6, 5.840

ABC TRUTH & LIES 0.5, 2.799

FOX P-COOL KIDS 1.5, 6.787

CW R-ILLUSION 0.2, 1.101

9 PM

NBC R-NEW AMSTERDAM 0.5, 3.281

CBS P-HAWAII 5-0 0.9, 7.416

ABC TRUTH & LIES 0.6, 3.135

FOX P-HELL’S KITCHEN 1.0, 3.285

CW R-PENN & TELLER 0.2, 1.134

9:30 PM

NBC R-NEW AMSTERDAM 0.5, 3.270

CBS P-HAWAII 5-0 0.9, 7.415

ABC TRUTH & LIES 0.6, 3.130

FOX P-HELL’S KITCHEN 0.9, 2.954

CW R-PENN & TELLER 0.2, 1.150

10 PM

NBC P-DATELINE FRIDAY 0.7, 3.714

CBS P-BLUE BLOODS 0.8, 8.680

ABC 20/20-FRIDAY 0.7, 3.517

10:30 PM

NBC P-DATELINE FRIDAY 0.7, 4.021

CBS P-BLUE BLOODS 0.9, 8.691

ABC 20/20-FRIDAY 0.7, 3.392