NBC Wraps 2014-15 Primetime Seaon with 11-Week Unbeaten Streak

23 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Blindspot premiere bares ratings fruit.

Network news watchdog Andrew Tyndall is out with some numbers on how the big nightly newscasts have covered the presidential race, and the figures are chilling for the campaign of Hillary Clinton.The broadcast networks were off and running as they kicked off another season on Monday, with NBC dominating behind “The Voice” and a hot start for “Blindspot,” which topped the combined demo scores of veteran timeslot competitors “Castle” and “NCIS: Los Angeles.” CBS had the night’s top show in “The Big Bang Theory,” and its new comedy “Life in Pieces” had a decent bow behind it, but Fox’s “Minority Report” opened quietly.SERIES PREMIERE: The mockumentary-style comedy “The Muppets” (ABC at 8 p.m.) follows the puppets as they work on Miss Piggy’s new late-night talk show. In those marquee programs, ABC News, CBS News and NBC News have spend just as much time — 83 minutes — on the candidate’s e-mail scandal as they have on her candidacy — 82 minutes, according to Tyndall’s number-crunching.

Meanwhile, two of last fall’s biggest drama newcomers — CBS’ “Scorpion” and Fox’s “Gotham” — were down as expected from their strong starts of last year but the Eye program held up better vs. its average from last winter and spring. From the moment Blindspot was announced in May, the crime drama had arguably the grabbiest ad campaign of any original freshman title with its marketing campaign built around star Jaimie Alexander crawling tattooed, nude and disoriented out of a duffel bag left in Times Square.

After several pseudo starts courtesy of the NFL, Neil Patrick Harris and a shrinking Emmy telecast, the 2015-16 broadcast season finally got underway Monday night with a slew of new and returning series across the Big Four. Emmy-winning filmmaker Bob Poole’s documentary, “Gorongosa Park: Rebirth of Paradise” (PBS at 8), chronicles a massive effort to restore a Mozambique wilderness park. According to preliminary national estimates from Nielsen, “Blindspot” was the clear standout among the night’s three premieres, averaging a 3.1 rating/10 share in adults 18-49 and 10.6 million viewers overall in the 10 o’clock hour. SERIES PREMIERE: Jake McDorman (“American Sniper”) stars in “Limitless” (CBS at 10), a drama series based on the 2011 film about a man who gets superhuman cognitive abilities after taking a strange drug called NZT.

Minus the e-mail coverage, Clinton’s exposure on the nightly news falls short of Republican front-runner Donald Trump’s — which is 145 minutes across the three networks. Though this is down from the big second-season premiere of “The Blacklist” in the Monday-at-10 hour a year ago (3.5), it’s well above the peak ratings of the two other dramas to air in the timeslot last season: “State of Affairs” (2.2) and “The Night Shift” (1.5). But the return of Fox’s Gotham (4.5 million, 1.6 rating) and the series premiere of new sci-fi show Minority Report (3.1 million, 1.1 rating) both disappointed in the Nielsens.

Writes Tyndall in an e-mail: “NBC has covered him most heavily (63 mins vs ABC 41, CBS 41) but NBC has covered all aspects of Campaign 2016 most, so in percentage terms (NBC 29%, CBS 25%, ABC 32%) ABC has focused on Trump most closely.” The Trump factor in large part accounts for why the Republican side of campaign 2016 swamps the Democratic side by a count of 338 minutes to 128 minutes. (Tyndall sent the report to the Erik Wemple Blog via e-mail and it is not available on the Internet as of right now; his site is here). In fact, the Steven Spielberg-produced Minority Report — a TV sequel to the director’s 2002 film — outright bombed, ranking as the night’s lowest-rated show on a major broadcast network in the demo despite being a heavily promoted premiere. NOTE: these findings cover Campaign 2016 coverage for the year to date (through last Friday, September 18th) on the weekday nightly newscasts of the three broadcast networks (ABC, CBS, NBC combined).

NBC won among the broadcast networks for the night in 18-49 (3.4/11) as well as total viewers (11.6 million), and that carried over to a victory in late-night, where Carly Fiorina was among the guests on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.” Leading off the night, “The Voice” was down but still potent as it began its ninth season (3.5/11 in 18-49, 12.1 million viewers overall). Clearly, the PreCogs didn’t see this coming, but Report was cited in EW’s story a few weeks ago as a title in trouble based on networks’ secret tracking polls (while we predicted Blindspot would open strong). (Here’s EW’s Minority Report review). A third series premiere last night was CBS’ promising comedy Life in Pieces (11.5 million, 2.7) Though the show was tracking poorly in viewer awareness, the comedy had a huge lead-in from CBS’ The Big Bang Theory (17. million, 4.5) — which was down about 18 percent from last season’s opener yet still easily led the night. Jeff requests a few favors to help advance his player’s career and Peter tries to set up a multimillion-dollar deal for one client while networking for another on “The Agent” (Esquire at 10). “Drunk History” (Comedy Central at 10:30) covers World War II spy Virginia Hall, British intelligence officer Roald Dahl and Harriet Tubman’s intelligence work during the Civil War.

It’s the smaller-rated shows that don’t see any initial DVR boosts that will be first up at the chopping block, though those decisions do seem to be coming later and later each season. This year’s coverage is already more than the entire penultimate year for four previous campaigns (1991–146 mins; 1995–294 mins; 1999–339 mins; 2003–167 mins). In part the Republican boost derives from the fact that it has already held two debates (63 mins) but their impact is minor compared with that of Donald Trump. > 3. CBS has found the e-mails more newsworthy than the candidacy (31 mins vs 19); NBC has focused more on the candidacy than the e-mails (42 mins vs 26); ABC has treated them roughly equally (e-mails 25 mins vs candidacy 21). > 5.

In descending order of minutes of coverage here is the remainder of the Top Ten: Rubio (11) Walker (10) Christie (9) Romney’s decision not to run (8) Sanders (8) Cruz (7). And while the CW won’t kick off its own fall schedule this week, the network did have new offerings with lingering summer fare Penn & Teller (0.4 adults), Whose Line (0.4 adults) and Significant Mother (0.3 adults).

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