It’s been hard to launch new reality hits on the broadcast networks the last few years. NBC scored a rare one with Little Big Shots but lightning is not going to strike twice this spring as two aspirational new shows, NBC’s Strong and Fox’s American Grit, both got off to a soft start last night.
Strong, which also had an unimpressive two-hour preview behind The Voice of Wednesday, drawing a 1.0 adults 18-49, slipped to a 0.8 in the demo for its time slot debut in the Thursday 8 PM hour. American Grit also posted a 0.8 for its 9 PM premiere. NBC’s benchmark in the Thursday 8 PM hour is pretty low — Strong equaled a 10-week high in the slot.
Also soft was the time period debut of new NBC drama Game of Silence (0.8 in 18-49, 4 million viewers), which dropped -67% from its OK preview behind The Voice on Tuesday (1.5 demo rating). It was down from the premiere in the slot of Shades of Blue (1.8, 8.6 million) and was also down from Shades‘ season average (1.1 in 18-49).
Bridging newbies Strong and Game Of Silence on NBC was veteran The Blacklist (1.3, 6.6 million), which ticked up a tenth in the demo from last week and hit a six-week viewership high with a major plot twist.
None of the new midseason Thursday dramas seem to be getting much traction. In the all-rookie face-off at 10 PM, we’ve got ABC’s The Catch (1.0, down a tenth), CBS’ Rush Hour (0.9, even) and Game of Silence (0.8).
The Catch did not take advantage of a stronger lead-in from a two-hour Grey’s Anatomy (2.2 in 18-49, 8 million), up a tenth in the demo with a two-month high viewership and ranking higher in the 9 PM hour than any episode of Scandal since its February return.
Look who is showing some spunk! CBS’ The Odd Couple, which is launching almost like an afterthought 11 months after its short first season ended its run, is holding up pretty well. Its second episode last night (1.5 in 18-49) matched last week’s season premiere despite a dramatic drop in the lead-in as The Big Bang Theory went from an original last Thursday (3.1) to a rerun (1.5). The Odd Couple also matched the delivery of the other CBS Thursday comedy series that have already been renewed, with Mom and 2 Broke Girls also logging a 1.5.
Elsewhere, Fox’s Bones (0.9) returned from hiatus even with its winter finale. The CW’s Legends of Tomorrow (0.7) and The 100 (0.4) held steady. ABC won the night in 18-49 (1.8) and total viewers (6.9 million).