Snapshot updated with finals: New series Week 2, all drops under 20%: Lethal Weapon (2.0, in 18-49, down 9%, adjusted up from 1.9 in the fast nationals, 7.1 million) Designated Survivor (1.8, down 18%, 7.9 million), Speechless (1.8, down 10%, 6.4 million); Returning series all down from their premieres with the exception of Blindspot, which was even with last week after upward adjustment in the finals. Fox’s Empire (3.7 in 18-49, adjusted up from 3.6, 9.6 million) is highest rated and most watched program of the night.
Those more than 6 million viewers who watched the series debut of ABC’s Designated Survivor on DVR and VOD after the broadcast did not flock to watch the second episode. In Week 2, the Kiefer Sutherland drama last night drew a 1.8 in adults 18-49, down 18% from last week’s 2.2, and 7.9 million viewers, -24%. We will have to wait for the Live+3 numbers to see whether Designated Survivor will remain a heavily DVR-ed/streamed series, or whether it has lost viewership after the big sampling.
The encouraging news for ABC is that Designated Survivor for the second consecutive time significantly built onto its lead-in, Black-ish (1.6, down 20%, 5.6 million) and won the 10 PM hour against dramas on CBS and NBC that both dropped off their lead-ins. And it’s running 60% ahead of Nashville‘s deliver in the hour last fall.
Last week, Designated Survivor was tied with Fox’s Lethal Weapon as the highest-rated Wednesday new series premiere in Live+Same Day (2.2 in 18-49), with Designated Survivor pulling ahead in L+3 with a massive gain of a 1.5 demo rating. This time, Lethal Weapon is inching ahead in the fast nationals with a smaller Week 2 drop, -0.3, (-14%), pending adjustments, to a 1.9 in 18-49 (L+SD). And that is with its lead-out, Empire (3.6), off by 0.6 (-14%) from its season premiere last week.
The third Wednesday rookie, ABC comedy Speechless (1.8), logged the smallest Week 2 drop, 0.2 (10%) as all three freshmen stayed within the acceptable under-20% second-week decline. Speechless at 8:30 PM benefited from a solid The Goldbergs at 8 PM (1.9), off only by a tenth from its season premiere last week. Veteran Modern Family (2.3) was down 0.3, ranking as the second highest rated program of the night behind Empire.
Two CBS dramas had season premieres last night, following Survivor (2.1, off-0.2 from its supersized season opener last week, 9.12 million). None was able to match the delivery of the reality veteran. Criminal Minds (1.8, 8.9 million), which has made headlines over the dismissal of co-star Thomas Gibson, was down 0.2 from its season debut last season. It was adjusted up to 1.9 in the finals, for a minimal 0.1 year-to-year drop-off. Rebooted sophomore Code Black, featuring new male star Rob Lowe (1.2), was down 20% from the Season 1 debut. Both dramas were on par with their season finales.
Like The Goldbergs, NBC’s Blindspot (1.2) and Chicago PD (1.5) are running off by a tenth from their season openers last week, with Chicago PD narrowing the gap with 10 PM winner Designated Survivor from 0.6 last week to 0.3. Law & Order: SVU (1.5) was down 0.3. Blindspot was adjusted up in the finals to match its season premiere L+SD delivery of 1.3 demo rating.
Fox won the night in 18-49 and total viewers for a second consecutive week.