If ABC last week was hoping for a little bit of luck with new drama Resurrection, which was sandwiched between established Sunday dramas Once Upon A Time and Revenge, NBC was praying for nothing short of a miracle last night, launching two new dramas, Believe and Crisis, with no original lead-in on a night on which it had no recent drama tradition. The last time NBC attempted to premiere a new drama on Sunday was five years ago with the short-lived Kings, with only two brief drama runs (Law & Order: Criminal Intent and Harry’s Law) since then on the night, which NBC has been filling up with reality programming post-football. Following a The Voice repeat (1.4), new drama Believe made its time-slot premiere at 9 PM with a 1.4 in adults 18-49 and 6.5 million viewers. At 10 PM, new drama Crisis opened to a 1.6 in 18-49 and 6.5 million viewers. Neither showed a breakout potential but, given the circumstances, neither tanked either. Believe‘s premiere rating was a little more than a half of what its preview behind Voice did on Monday (2.7), but those samplings rarely boost series debuts unless the pilot wows the audience. For instance, CBS’ midseason drama Intelligence logged a 2.4 in its preview behind NCIS but only a 1.1 in its regular slot debut on Monday. It’s been a rough midseason for new dramas, with no show besides ABC’s Resurrection debuting to more that 1.7 in 18-49. (Crisis and Believe still finished ahead of the premieres of ABC’s three other midseason entries, Mind Games, Killer Women and The Assets.) Crisis also managed to build on its lead-in, a rare feat for a 10 PM drama, and it finished only a tenth off No. 1 in the hour, beating CBS veteran The Mentalist.
Mostly positive news for ABC. Breakout Resurrection (3.0) was down from the its fast national last week (21% from the final) but still delivered a potent number to finish as the top program of the night in 18-49 and total viewers (10.8 million), more than doubling the rating of its 9 PM drama competitors, Believe and The Good Wife. In my book, the network’s MVP last night was Once Upon A Time (2.3), which not only has provided a strong launching pad for Resurrection but also has found a new momentum with its new witch storyline, matching last week’s midseason premiere fast national rating. On the flip side, Revenge (1.7) at 10 PM slipped 11% from its midseason debut last week, barely edging NBC’s Crisis. ABC still won the night comfortably in adults 18-49 (2.1) though the total viewer crown went to CBS this time. (more…)