The fog of reruns from the 2020 holidays has lifted. On Sunday night, networks returned to their regularly scheduled programming (more or less) with a combination of new shows and the return of some favorites.
One of the only programs that didn’t take a holiday break was NBC’s Sunday Night Football, which held steady with last week delivering a 3.8 rating in the adults 18-49 demographic and 13.77 million viewers who watched Washington beat Philadelphia and secure a postseason berth in the regular-season finale.
The SNF numbers are likely to be adjusted in finals, with NFL overrun also impacting programming on CBS and Fox.
Fox started the new year with the series premiere of Call Me Kat (1.3, 5.37M) starring Mayim Bialik, which did OK. Boosted by an outsized NFL lead-in, the comedy topped the evening in non-NFL fare in early Nielsen Live+Same Day numbers, for now making it the best comedy debut demo-wise in two years, since the 2019 debut of Schooled on ABC. It is also the No. 1 original comedy since the series finale of Modern Family in April 2020. Kat, which makes its time-period debut at 9 p.m. Thursday, is Fox’s highest-rated and most-watched comedy debut since The Cool Kids in September 2018, though it should be noted that Call Me Kat is the first Fox comedy to premiere behind an NFL game since then. If the numbers stand, Fox will have scored the top three debuts of the broadcast season to date with Kat, The Masked Dancer and I Can See Your Voice, with the first two both benefiting from a football lead-in.
The Great North (0.6, 2.28M) also made its series premiere at Fox. The animated comedy featuring Nick Offerman and Jenny Slate was followed by a fresh episode of The Simpsons (0.5, 1.75M), which dipped compared with its previous original. Fox rounded out the night with the Season 9 premiere of Last Man Standing (0.5, 2.38M), which hit series lows. Like Call Me Kat, the Tim Allen sitcom — which just launched its final season — will relocate to its regular time slot Thursday.
ABC served up the Season 3 premiere of The Rookie (0.5, 3.32M), which ticked down a tenth in the demo from the Season 2 finale, down double digits from its 2019-20 season average to tie a demo L+SD low. The network also aired new episodes of America’s Funniest Home Videos (0.6, 4.9M) as well as Supermarket Sweep (0.5, 2.75M), which was on par with its last fresh episode. Meanwhile, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire (0.4, 2.95M) ticked up since its last new episode.
At CBS, 60 Minutes (1.6, 10.48M) saw surge from last week with its NFL lead-in, while new episodes of NCIS: Los Angeles (0.6, 5.99M) and NCIS: New Orleans (0.5, 4.53M) both climbed a tenth.
Elsewhere, The CW’s Outpost (0.1, 302,000) dug itself out of the 0.0 hole from last week.