His Miss Universe blunder notwithstanding, it seems like Steve Harvey can do no wrong on TV these days. Host of three hit series already, the syndicated Family Feud and Steve Harvey as well as ABC’s Celebrity Feud, the most watched new broadcast summer show last year, the comedian may be adding a fourth in NBC’s Little Big Shots. The new kids talent show, which Harvey also produces with Ellen DeGeneres, had a strong preview behind The Voice last night, drawing a 2.9 in adults 18-49 and 12.7 million viewers at 10 PM. It marked the biggest alternative series premiere on any network among adults 18-49 in four and a half years, since Fox’s The X-Factor in September 2011, and most watched in five years, since ABC’s Secret Millionaire in March 2011. For NBC, it was the highest-rated alternative series launch in the demo since The Voice in April 2011.
Speaking of The Voice (3.1 in 18-49, 13.4 million), the veteran ticked up from its Tuesday season premiere last week. Little Big Shots moves into its regular Sunday 8 PM slot later this week.
Meanwhile, we have the latest ABC Tuesday 10 PM casualty, biblical drama Of Kings and Prophets, which opened with a dismal 0.8 Live+same day rating in adults 18-49. That was below the underwhelming start of short-lived drama Wicked City (0.9) in the hour last fall (it launched against the opening game of the World Series) to mark a new low for a non-Friday series premiere on the Big 4 networks this season.
When after the upfronts ABC pulled Of Kings and Prophets from the fall schedule — where it had been originally slotted on Sundays — for tweaking and recasting, there was speculation that the series would be scrapped altogether the way Fox did with its ancient world drama Hieroglyph a few years back. In hindsight, it may have been a wise decision for ABC to pull the plug and cut its losses after the pilot. After the very low opening, the only question is how long Of Kings and Prophets will stay on the air and whether ABC would summon Secrets & Lies from the bench to replace it.
There was some good news for ABC last night. Plucky sophomore comedy Fresh Off The Boat (1.4, 4.9 million), fresh off its second-season renewal, inched up two tenths from last week to post its best demo result since November. The ABC family comedy topped the 100th episode of New Girl (1.2, 2.7 million, steady with last week) in the 8-8:30 PM half-hour with its biggest advantage ever over the Fox series.
But there was no halo effect at 8:30 PM where new ABC comedy The Real O’Neals (1.1) is fading fast, down -40% from the average for its two previews on Wednesday last week. Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (1.1) logged a Live+same day season low in its return from hiatus.
Elsewhere, Fox’s Grandfathered (0.8) was even with last week, while CBS’ Limitless (1.0) ticked down to a L+SD season low coming off a rerun of NCIS at 9 PM. (Limitless was adjusted up to a 1.1 in the finals, tying a season low.) The CW was in repeats.
NBC easily topped the night with a 3.0 in 18-49 and 13.2 million viewers.