On a night that saw a whole new chapter in the saga of Gotham City hit the small screen with Batwoman, the Indianapolis Colts’ close victory over the Kansas City Chiefs was no win for Sunday Night Football.
Almost certain to take a hit after the record-breaking performance of last week’s tight Dallas Cowboys-New Orleans Saints game, SNF didn’t just fall in the early ratings – it hit a season low.
Snagging a 5.0/21 in the adults 18-49 demographic and 16.4 million viewers in the unadjusted numbers, the Colts’ 19-13 victory in Week 5 of NBC’s flagship NFL show crashed more than 25% in the key demo compared with its muscular season-high effort September 29. In terms of audience, the injury-filled and down-market matchup saw a 22% drop from last week’s game.
Of course, that Saints-Cowboys game ended up with a massive viewership of just over 24 million along with a 7.8/33 rating.
Looking at last season’s comparable Week 5 Lone Star state face-off between the Cowboys and the Houston Texans, last night’s SNF was pretty steady. Dipping 5% in audience from the fast affiliates for that October 7, 2018 game, the Colts’ win last night was down 11% among 18-49s. The Texans’ Week 5 win last season came in eventually with a 6.0/24 rating in the final numbers and 18.6 million viewers.
Off the field, two newcomers made solid entrances into a fall season broadcast field that has been largely ho-hum, with lower Live+Same Day benchmarks and no true breakouts so far.
ABC’s Kids Say the Darndest Things revival (0.9 in 18-49, 5.4 million) starring Tiffany Haddish was tied as the No. 2 series debut this season in Live+Same Day adults 18-49, a tenth behind Fox’s Prodigal Son. The debut of Kids Say, which is a tenth off the finale of Celebrity Family Feud in the 8 PM hour last week, marks ABC’s most watched fall premiere in the slot in four years and improved over the debut of DWTS: Juniors in the time period last fall by 8% in total viewers and by 29% in adults 18-49.
Kids Say was ABC’s highest-rated and most watched program of the night, building by double-digits on its lead-in. As for the rest of the network’s lineup Sunday, Shark Tank held steady while America’s Funniest Home Videos and Rookie slipped a tenth, respectively, in the demo.
The CW’s Batwoman premiered to a 0.5 adults 18-49 rating and 1.8 million total viewers, on par in the demo and up in viewers from the debut of Supergirl and Charmed on the same night last fall.
Supergirl opened its fifth season with a 0.4 in 18-49 and 1.3 million viewers, down a notch from the Season 4 opener and on par with last season’s average.
CBS’ Madam Secretary (0.4, 4.9 million) started its sixth and final season off from its Season 5 opener and average, on par with its finale.
We’ll update with more NFL numbers as they come in today. In the meantime, with Nielsen no longer putting out the early metered markets ratings, get an overview of Sunday night with our chart below.