The American Music Awards was relocated this year from its longtime mid-late November Sunday berth to an early October Tuesday slot. The move did not fare well. Despite a star lineup, including an opening performance by Taylor Swift, the AMAs (1.8 in adults 18-49 Live+same day, 6.6 million total viewers) was down 25% in the demo and 28% in viewers from last fall to mark all-time lows.
It was a competitive night for the broadcast networks who also faced a deciding Yankees-Red Sox game. Most regular series held up pretty well against AMAs and baseball
NBC’s The Voice (1.2, 9 million) was steady week-to-week in the demo despite having music competition from the AMAs, while This Is Us (2.3, 8.8 million) and New Amsterdam (1.4, 7.1 million) each slipped a tenth in the demo from last week. All three series retained 95%+ of their audience from last week; for This Is Us the retention was 99.5%. The solid Week 3 delivery for New Amsterdam was followed by a Back 9 order this morning to bring its freshman series to 22 episodes. NBC tied ABC for the No.1 slot of the night among adults 18-49.
At Fox, The Gifted (0.7, 2.1 million) held steady while Lethal Weapon (0.7, 3 million) dipped a tenth in the demo as the series is awaiting to hear on a possible two-episode back order in the wake on star Damon Wayans’ announcement that he would be leaving.
CBS’ FBI made a demo shift toward older viewers. With its lead-in, NCIS (1.4, 12.2 million) steady with last Tuesday, matching its L+SD demo result from the first two weeks of the season and adding a few eyeballs vs. last Tuesday, FBI (1.0, 9.1 million) somewhat inexplicably dropped two tenths, -17%, in 18-49, while keeping 97% of its viewership from last week. Both NCIS and FBI faced the younger-skewing AMAs on ABC vs. the older-leaning Dancing with the Stars but only FBI seems to have been affected. The trend continued at 10 PM where NCIS: New Orleans (0.9, 7.9 million) ticked down a tenth in the demo from last week while adding about 100,000 viewers.
In viewers, FBI topped time slot rival This Is Us for a second consecutive week as CBS won the night in that category.
The CW kicked off its fall rollout. At 8 PM, against baseball, the male-skewing The Flash returned to a respectable 0.8 adults 18-49 rating and 2.1 million viewers, an indication that enough viewers knew that the network was turning on the fall lights last night. While The Flash was down -25% from last fall’s opener, it was on par with its previous season average and finale. The Flash also edged Fox in the 8 PM hour among adult 18-49. News was worse for Black Lightning (0.4, 1.2 million), which was down from its Season 1 premiere, average and finale as well as from the premiere of DC’s Legends of Tomorrow in the time slot last fall to hit series lows in viewers and 18-49. In 18-34, Black Lightning ticked up a tenth from its freshman finale and was even with Legends’ debut last season.