UPDATE 2:20 PM: How about ABC’s Forever? After that surprisingly soft 1.5 fast national demo rating for the Monday preview given the supernatural drama’s solid pre-launch awareness, Forever has impressed. It jumped 0.2 to a 1.7 in the finals for the Monday premiere and just got a bump (0.1) again for the second episode last night. Forever has been adjusted to a 1.8 adults 18-49 rating, a rare second-episode rise for a new show. With CBS’ Person Of Interest adjusted down a tenth to a 1.7, Forever has climbed to second place behind NBC’s Chicago Fire in the 10 PM hour. ABC may have finally found a keeper for the challenging time slot.
There are a lot of up-and-down adjustments today. ABC’s Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. rose 0.2 to a 2.1. Also in positive territory are NBC’s The Voice and ABC’s Dancing results, both up a 0.1 to a 4.1 and 1.7 rating, respectively. (For a second straight night, the entire ABC lineup is adjusted up in the finals.) NBC Chicago Fire slipped a tenth to a 2.6, the series’ second highest Live+Same Day delivery.
PREVIOUS 10 AM: Dick Wolf’s Chicago Fire showed just how effective a good old fashioned cliffhanger could be. Last night’s third season premiere, which revealed who died in the explosion from the second season finale, drew a rock solid 2.7 fast national 18-49 rating for a 10 PM drama. That matched a series high for NBC’s firefighter drama and set a new high in total viewers (9.403 million), up a big 42% from the May finale.
Chicago Fire won the hour by a +50% margin — its biggest ever — vs. No. 2, Person Of Interest, which opened its fourth season with a 1.8 in 18-49, down 22% from last fall. The CBS drama will likely close the gap a bit in DVR viewing (NBC and CBS’ projections currently have Chicago Fire at a 3.9 in L7 and POI at 2.7, making for a 44% margin), but the big return for Chicago Fire shows the urgency to view that a major plot twist brings in people’s decision-making what to watch live.
There was good news all around for NBC last night as The Voice delivered a 4.0 in 18-49 and 13.0 million viewers from 8-10 PM. While that was down 13% from last fall’s Tuesday premiere, it was up a tenth from this week’s Monday debut, the first time The Voice has shown growth from the first to the second night of its season opener. It is an encouraging sign as it indicates that viewers may have liked the panel’s new makeup with rookie judges Gwen Stefani and Pharrell and the buzz may be bringing in new audiences. The Voice also was up 21% from the May finale and up 8% from the spring cycle’s Tuesday premiere. NBC won every half-hour of primetime in 18-49.
CBS’ veteran drama NCIS (2.9) is finally starting to show its age. For a second consecutive fall, the season premiere of the procedural drama posted a year-to-year drop (-15% in 18-49) to mark the lowest rated season opener since the 2003 series premiere. NCIS still commands a massive audience (18 million) and provided a very solid launch pad for spinoff NCIS: New Orleans (2.5, 17 million). The new drama was down -17% in 18-49 from last season’s premiere of fellow NCIS offshoot, NCIS: LA, in the 9 PM time slot but, not surprisingly, showed great compatibility with its lead-in while skewing a little older, something that could be expected with Scott Bakula as the star. NCIS: New Orleans held onto 95% of NCIS‘ total viewership and 86% of its 18-49 rating. CBS won the night in total viewers.
New ABC drama Forever delivered on the promise it showed with that surprisingly strong .2 bump in the finals yesterday. The series about an immortal medical examiner was competitive in the 10 PM hour with a 1.7 in 18-49, matching its Live+same day from the Monday preview and only a tenth behind Person Of Interest, while topping the CBS drama in adults 18-34. Forever‘s delivery bested the debut in the Tuesday 10 PM slot last fall of ABC’s short-lived drama Lucky 7 by 31% in 18-49 (1.7 vs. 1.3) and 47% in total viewers (6.5 million vs. 4.4 million). Could ABC’s curse in the time period be finally broken?
Forever held onto the bulk of its lead-in, Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D., which made a quiet Season 2 return in its new 9 PM slot after the fireworks surrounding its big series premiere at 8 PM last fall when it nabbed a 4.6 fast national and 4.7 Live+same day rating in adults 18-49. Compare this to last night’s 1.9 fast national (down 59%), which will likely go up a tenth or two in the finals. S.H.I.E.L.D. is a heavily DVR-ed show but even with time-shifted viewing, the second season premiere, projected to go up to a 3.1 demo rating in l7, would be off by 58% from the show’s stellar debut. Against premiere week competition, S.H.I.E.L.D.‘s temporary lead-in, Dancing With The Stars Results (1.6/6), was down -27% from last week.
Also taking a hit was Fox’s Tuesday lineup, which too debuted a week earlier. Utopia (0.8) was down 20%, New Girl (1.3) was down 24%, The Mindy Project (1.0) was down 23%.