U.S. Olympians’ two milestone results yesterday — a first-ever gold in ice dancing and the first two-man bobsledding medal in 62 years — as well as Bob Costas’ return to NBC’s Olympics coverage after a sick leave, helped reverse the streak of Sochi ratings declines vs. the Vancouver Games. (It also gave a boost to the premiere of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.) Last night’s NBC primetime Olympic broadcast drew 23.5 million viewers, up 11% from the comparable night of the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver and a 5.6/15 in 18-49, up 4%. That is the first time the tape-delayed Sochi Olympics had edged the partly live Vancouver Games since last Tuesday.
Fox’s dramas kept steady against the Olympics. Both Almost Human (1.6) and The Following (1.7) matched their series lows from last Monday. ABC’s The Bachelor (2.2) was down a tenth from last Monday to tie a series low, while Castle (1.7) dived 19% from its last original, which did not face the Olympics, also tying a series low. CBS aired comedy repeats and a new Intelligence (1.2), down a tenth from last week. (more…)