Snapshot: New series time slot premiere: NBC’s I Feel Bad (0.7 in 18-49 Live+Same Day rating, 2.6 million viewers; New series week 2: CBS’ Murphy Brown (1.0, -9%, 7.2 million)
After a tough Premiere Thursday for entertainment programming on the broadcast networks on the day of the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation hearing, there was more bad news for the nets last night, but there was some good news too.
Let’s start withe good news, and it’s all CBS-related. Juggernaut The Big Bang Theory started its final season with uncharacteristically modest ratings, hitting all-time viewership Live+same day low last Thursday. Its numbers seem to have stabilized, and the veteran comedy (2.2 in 18-49, 12 million) was even with last week’s delivery. There was even better news for CBS at 8:30 PM where Big Bang spinoff Young Sheldon (1.8, 10.6 million) was up .2, +13%, in the demo from last week and also added a few eyeballs. CBS’ Mom (1.3, 7.9 million) and S.W.A.T. (0.7, 5.3 million) also held steady with last week, though those are low demo marks for both shows. (S.W.A.T. did add a few viewers from last week’s audience series low.)
The only series to slip from last week was the Murphy Brown revival (1.0, 7.2 million), which, sandwiched between Mom and S.W.A.T. was off by a tenth, -9%, from last week’s unimpressive debut.
While NBC has strengthen its Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday this fall with the additions of new dramas Manifest and New Amsterdam and the creation of One Chicago lineup, wheels are coming off on Thursday, once the network’s signature night of Must See TV fame. The network finished a distant fourth in both adults 18-49 and total viewers last night, with all of its shows posting a 1.0 18-49 L+SD rating or below.
The highest rated and most watched NBC comedy last night was the Will & Grace revival (1.0, 3.9 million), which could’t capture some Must See TV magic with the introduction of Friends alum David Schwimmer in the season openet. Will & Grace was down sharply from its highly rated debut last fall (-67%) and from last season’s L+SD average (-33%) though it was up a notch from the April finale.
Following Will & Grace at 9:30 PM, new NBC comedy I Feel Bad (0.7, 2.6 million) hit Thursday low marks for NBC and all Big 4 nets. In its time slot debut, following a preview behind the America’ Got Talent finale, the new sitcom logged the dreaded 0.7 18-49 premiere rating that no broadcast series on the Big 4 networks has recovered from. Last midseason, I Feel Bad‘s predecessor in the Thursday 9:30 PM half-hour, Champions, opened with a 0.7 demo L+SD rating, with its numbers gradually sliding to a cancellation.
It is unclear whether NBC would be as patient with I Feel Bad (Champions had a lucrative Netflix deal) as the new sitcom seems to be hurting its lead-out, NBC’s legacy drama Law & Order: SVU (1.0, 4.2 million) which hit new L+SD series lows last night.
In the 8 PM hour, NBC’s Superstore started its fourth season with a 0.9 in 18-49 and 3.2 million, off from its previous season debut and average though up from the finale. The Good Place (0.9, 3.0 million) was on par with its season opener last week.
At ABC, Grey’s Anatomy (1.6, 6.5 million), slipped two tenths in the demo (-11%) and 0.3 million viewers to match a viewership low. Spinoff Station 19 opened its second season with a 1.1 in the demo and 5.2 million, close to its series debut last season, on par with its Season 1 average and up a tick from the finale. At 10 PM, How To Get Away With Murder (0.8, 3.1 million) was steady in demo, logging an uptick in viewers.
Fox is projected to win the night with Thursday Night Football, which featured New England Patriots’ Tom Brady scoring his 500th touchdown pass, though its ratings slipped a bit from last week.