After a new show has premiered, it’s all about holding the audience after the blitz of pre-launch promotion is over. Keeping steady is great — showing ratings growth is even better. After a 24% Week 2 drop for ABC’s new comedy Black-ish, it bounced back in Week 3 with a 2.8 in adults 18-49, up +12% from its fast national last Wednesday and up +8% from the final. That is despite its lead-in, Modern Family (3.4), slipping -3% from its fast national (-8% from the final). A back order for Black-ish, along with ABC’s red-hot new drama How To Get Away With Murder, appear all but certain. The rest of the ABC’s Wednesday lineup held steady: The Middle (2.0) was up a tenth from its fast national last week, and The Goldbergs (2.2) and Nashville (1.5) were even.
In its second outing, CBS’ new drama Stalker (1.7) mirrored the -15% week-to-week decline of its lead-in, Criminal Minds (2.3) but still won the 10 PM hour. The new crime drama is a solid DVR performer, with CBS projecting for the Week 2 drop to narrow to 10% in Live+7. CBS started the night in positive territory, with Survivor (2.5) rising by a tenth from last Wednesday.
Fox’s Red Band Society appeared to have stabilized last week when it held its rating from the previous week, 1.1. But now the teen drama dropped another 18% to a new series low, while its lead-in, Hell’s Kitchen, held steady (1.4). That raises questions about how much longer Red Band could go before being bumped to a lower-trafficked night or pulled altogether. Red Band is a major DVR gainer, with Fox projecting a 78% L+7 lift for last night’s episode, but off such a small base that still is a soft 1.6 in 18-49.
At NBC, all three dramas slipped a tenth from their fast nationals last week, newbie Mysteries Of Laura (1.3/4), which just received an order for three more scripts, veteran Law & Order: SVU (1.7) and sophomore Chicago PD (1.5). Last week, Laura was adjusted up a tenth and Chicago PD down a tenth. Laura has emerged as NBC’s top program on Wednesday with 8.5 million viewers vs. 7.6 million for SVU and 6.7 million for PD.
The Flash was a tough act to follow but the superhero series that helped launch the new CW breakout, Arrow, did solid business in its return last night. The third-season premiere, which featured a major death, was up +11% in 18-49 (1.0), +13 in 18-34 (0.9) and +2% in total viewers (2.8 million) vs. the Season 2 opener. After the gangbusters Tuesday debut, The Flash got more sampling last night, with an encore of the series opener drawing a solid 2.1 million viewers and a 0.6.
CBS swept every hour of primetime in total viewers to win the night with 9.3 million viewers while ABC is currently running ahead by a tenth in 18-49 (2.2 vs. 2.1).