UPDATE 3:30 PM: As expected, The Big Bang Theory went up in the finals, by 0.2, to a 3.8 in 18-49, while Life In Pieces slipped by a 0.1 to a 1.9, bringing its lead-in retention to 50%. The Voice also went up a tenth to a 3.4, while the ABC series fell more from the NFL-inflated fast nationals than the network’s projections: Dancing With The Stars was adjusted down 0.3 to a 1.6, Castle down 0.4 to match last week’s series-low 1.2 premiere rating.
Snapshot: New series Week 2 retention – Blindspot (2.6 in 18-49, 84%), Life In Pieces (2.0, 77% in fast nationals; 1.9, 50% in the finals), Minority Report (0.9, 82%). Only series not to post Week 2 declines, Fox’s Gotham.
It’s Week 2 of the broadcast season, which means it’s time to assess the declines that normally follow the initial sampling of new series and the return of popular shows from a summer break.
All three new series that debuted on Premiere Monday were down in their second outings. NBC’s breakout drama Blindspot (2.6) continued to lead the pack with the smallest Week 2 drop, 16%, still ranking as the highest-rated drama on Monday night in 18-49. Its dropoff was steeper than the 6% slip for its lead-in, The Voice (3.3) though Blindspot could make some of that up in shifted viewing — the thriller was a big DVR gainer for its premiere, adding a 1.34 18-49 rating and 4.6 million viewers. Blindspot already became the first freshman series to receive an order for additional scripts (9). That will soon be followed by a Back 9 episodic order.
Fox’s Minority Report (0.9) slipped under the 1 Live+Same Day demo rating threshold after an 18% Week 2 drop, while its lead-in, Gotham (1.6), held steady, matching the 18-49 delivery for its second-season premiere last week. Both shows saw healthy 50%+ 18-49 gains in L3, though Minority Report has a steep hill to climb off a small Live+SD base.
There are signs of possible vulnerability in CBS’ lineup, which the network successfully shored up last season with the addition of Scorpion. The entire 8-10 PM block was down 23% from last week, with The Big Bang Theory (3.6), Life In Pieces (2.0) and Scorpion (1.7) all posting 23% declines and Scorpion hitting a Live+Same Day series low. Because of the usual minute-long Big Bang overrun, it is likely that the veteran comedy would be adjusted up and newbie Life In Pieces would be adjusted down a tenth. LiP‘s lead-in retention is currently at 56%, in line with last Monday’s premiere, but might slip to 51%. With a well-received cast and a single-camera format that rarely gets on CBS, the network likely will stick with the new comedy for some time but will be watching its retention and impact on Scorpion, which is a valued asset for sibling CBS Studios. Last year, The Millers started its second season behind Big Bang on Monday with a 50% 18-49 retention and was yanked after four episodes when Scorpion started posting lows. At 10 PM, veteran NCIS: LA (1.2) was even with last week’s season premiere, which ranks as a series low in Live+SD.
ABC’s fast nationals are inflated because of an NFL pre-emptions in three markets, with Dancing With The Stars currently running at a 1.9 demo rating and Castle at a 1.6. ABC is projecting a 0.1-0.2 downward adjustment for Dancing and a 0.2-0.3 one for Castle. That would keep Dancing relatively steady while Castle, which featured a major plot twist in co-star Stana Katic’s full-time return, is expected to finish ahead of last week’s series-low premiere (1.2 in Live+SD)
Speaking of NFL, the Green Bay Packers’ 38-28 win over the Kansas City Chiefs on Monday Night Football drew a 8.9 rating for the 8:15 PM-midnight ET game, only dipping 4% from last week’s NY Jets blowout of the Indianapolis Colts – which was steady with Week 1 of MNF. ESPN’s franchise is expected to top the night, with NBC No. 1 in 18-49 (3.0) and total viewers (10.9 million) among the broadcast nets.