CBS’ God Friended Me series opener (1.4 demo rating, 10.45 million viewers) appears to have been blessed, if not from above, by the NFL in overrun anyway. Also giving thanks to Sunday Night Football last night is Fox’s The Simpsons Season 30 starter (1.8, 4.85M), which was bestowed with an early fourth-tenths pop in the demo.
The Season 51 premiere of CBS 60 Minutes (2.6, 13.72M) was the most-watched and highest-rated non-sports program in its hour. The newsmagazine was tops in the news demo (3.4) among entertainment programs.
The 60 Minutes season opener included Scott Pelley’s very buzzy interview with Senate Judiciary Committee members Sen. Jeff Flake and Sen. Chris Coons, explaining the role they played in Friday’s last-minute pact to continue the Supreme Court confirmation process of Judge Brett Kavanaugh.
'Sunday Night Football' Ratings Hit Season Low As Baltimore Ravens Rip Steelers
Still, the senators were no match for Stormy Daniels, who clocked 21.3 million viewers for 60 Minutes last March, explaining to Anderson Cooper about allegedly spanking Donald Trump with a magazine bearing his face on the cover, and allegedly having been been threatened in a Las Vegas parking lot.
The season opener is, however, competitive with 60 Minutes’ 50th season debut (2.6, 14.4M) featuring Oprah Winfrey’s debut as a contributor, Lesley Stahl’s interview the late Sen. John McCain, and Jeff Fager as EP.
Sunday’s newsmag season launch did not start until 7:43 PM ET, owing to football overrun, so even the half-hour stats are skewed by the 13-minute difference between the half-hours and CBS start times.
Numbers for the God Friended Me opener that followed also are murky owing to football overrun, but, at least for now, it can claim to be the most-watched new entertainment series for the new season, also topping its hour in the demo. Following God Friended Me, NCIS: Los Angeles (1.1, 8.68M) came in shy of last season’s debut.
Afternoon football also gave The Simpsons’ season opener a ratings kick, including a four-tenths pop in the demo, leading in to the launch of Bob’s Burgers (1.2, 2.61M), Family Guy (1.2, 2.66M) and Rel (0.8, 1.97M). Rel came in a tenth short of The Last Man on Earth’s opener in the same slot last season, as well as Rel’s September 9 preview, which enjoyed an NFL lead-in.
The regular-slot premiere of Rel retained a tepid 67% of its Family Guy demo lead-in and dropped 58% compared to its post-NFL preview September 9 in the demo.
NBC (4.5, 13.56M) dominated the night, followed by CBS (1.9, 11.16M). Fox (1.4, 3.82M) followed, then ABC (0.6, 3.22M), which had kicked off the night with the season debut of America’s Funniest Home Videos (0.8, 5.40M), followed with Disney movie Frozen (0.6, 2.80M) from 8-10 PM, then a Shark Tank repeat (0.5, 1.89M).
Subscribe to Deadline Breaking News Alerts and keep your inbox happy.