March Madness Steals ‘American Idol’ Spotlight Sunday

American Idol

March Madness-fueled CBS (1.3 demo rating, 9.01 million viewers) looks to have topped Sunday night, with the network’s post-60 Minutes (1.5, 10M) premiere of Instinct (1.0, 8.79M) likely to be the No. 1-ranked entertainment show for the night. CBS’ primetime experienced a 37-minute delay – and enjoyed a strong springboard – compliments of the NCAA basketball tournament overrun.

Early data on CBS, which is subject to substantial change owing to the live games overrun, shows the network sharing the demo win with ABC (1.3, 6.23M).

ABC’s second Sunday as the new home of American Idol (1.8, 7.7M) saw the singing show slip 26% in overall audience and half a point in the 18-49 age bracket compared to the previous Sunday’s opener. Idol was Sunday’s top non-NCAA show in the demo, and tripled its new network’s year-ago delivery in the 8-10 PM block, in both metrics.

NBC’s 7 PM Little Big Shots was coded a special with its 8 PM episode (1.1, 7.5M) named the official premiere. The 8 PM episode climbed by 38% compared to 7 PM broadcast (0.8, 5.97M) in the demo and 1.5 million total viewers, explaining the coding; NBC noted the official opener maintained 100% of last year’s finale in the demo and grew by 3% in overall audience.

Fox’s Brooklyn Nine-Nine (0.9, 1.93M) returned to Sundays after a three-month leave, snagging its best demo of the season at 8:30 PM, hammocked between animated The Simpsons (0.8, 2.07M) and Family Guy (1.0, 2.31M).

At 10 PM, ABC’s Deception (0.9/3), topped NBC’s Timeless (0.7/3), as well as CBS’10 PM drama Madam Secretary (0.6/3), which started more than 30 minutes late.

NBC (0.9, 5.35M) and Fox (0.8, 1.84M) followed CBS and ABC for the primetime night.

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