TV Ratings: ‘Blindspot’ Premieres Atop Monday Freshmen, Returning Shows Decline

22 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

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Blindspot had 10.6 million viewers and a 3.1 rating among adults 18–49, easily beating all of its 10 p.m. rivals. 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 “The 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.It’s been months since advertisers sat through presentation after presentation at the spring “upfronts,” which showcased the networks’ new lineups.

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. 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. 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. 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.

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. 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). Conspiracy thriller “Blindspot,” the latest drama from Greg Berlanti, outdrew its combined ABC-CBS drama competition in the 10 o’clock hour among adults 18-49 (3.1 vs. 2.4), and its 3.1 rating is the best for any NBC series premiere since the “Blacklist” premiere in September 2013. 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. 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. Trevor Noah was a bold choice for Comedy Central as they take a stab at reinventing the show, rather than bringing in a more familiar name that would probably do better short term, but not have the same unique voice. 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. One of the shows that represents the more diverse makeup of the new season’s fall slate with Bollywood star Priyanka Chopra bringing a ready-made fan base for the international after-market, which is attractive to global advertisers.

The 3.9 million likes that the show has garnered on Facebook indicate that its fan community remains robust and engaged, and that kind of passion is always attractive to advertisers. This is not the most scientific measure but we’re going with the “show that buyers with teen daughters were most frequently asked if they could get an advance copy” litmus test. Maybe it’s because the title is something that a lot of our young buyers can relate to, or maybe it’s because the CW is our client, but this is a show that we’re excited about. In the same vein as “Jane the Virgin,” it’s a concept that stands out from the pack, and like JTV there’s probably not going to be any middle ground in terms of how viewers react. 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).

These programs have become the workhorse of the schedule as they can be shifted to different nights, “supersized” or truncated as the need arises.

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