The first night of ABC’s multi-night primetime special Jeopardy!: The Greatest of All Time was the greatest on Tuesday in the ratings, scoring 14.37 million viewers and a 2.4 rating in the adults 18-49 demographic and dominating a night where the broadcast networks began returning to regular programming after a holiday slumber.
The faceoff of Jeopardy! champs James Holzhauer, Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter kicked off their best-of-3 showdown for a $1 million prize. The special, which gave ABC the nightly win overall in the demo, continues tonight and Thursday, with Friday and next week in the works if necessary.
Elsewhere, 11 shows either returned for their midseason premieres or had their series debuts. The latter batch included NBC’s Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist (0.6, 2.69M), which had its sneak preview at 10 PM ahead of its time-slot premiere Sunday, February 16 at 9 PM (the pilot is now available to stream on various platforms). On CBS, its new spinoff FBI: Most Wanted (0.8, 7.19M) topped the 10 PM hour leading out from the flagship FBI (0.9, 9.30M), which returned for the second half of its second season up a tenth from its fall finale.
FBI: Most Wanted‘s start ranks it as the most-watched new series of the 2019-2020 season. It took the slot occupied by NCIS: New Orleans, which will air on Sundays beginning February 16.
CBS won Tuesday night in viewers leading off with the midseason premiere of NCIS (1.0, 10.28), which was steady with its last episode in the ratings but hit a season low in viewers — though it was Tuesday’s second most-watched program. It tied in the demo at 8 PM with the Season 3 premiere of NBC’s Ellen’s Game of Games (1.0, 4.35M), with a second episode at 9 (1.1, 4.65M) gaining in both metrics.
The rest of ABC’s lineup was lifted by the impact of Jeopardy! with the midseason bows of comedies Mixed-ish (1.1, 4.78M) and Black-ish (0.8, 3.18) and rookie drama Emergence (0.5, 2.27M) all seeing demo gains from their fall finales; Mixed-ish gained six tenths.
Fox also returned with originals with the midseason premiere of The Resident (0.7, 3.72M), even with its last original, and the Season 3 debut of Gordon Ramsay’s 24 Hours to Hell and Back (0.7, 2.5M), off a tenth compared with its Season 2 finale in March.
The CW are in repeats for one more week.