TV Ratings: CBS’ ‘Supergirl’ Soars on Premiere Night as Fall’s Biggest Debut

27 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

CBS’ ‘Supergirl’ Premiere Ratings Strong; Best of Fall in Young Adults.

The series premiere of the action-adventure series opened strong Monday night, delivering a fall new series record of 14 million viewers and a 3.2 rating among adults 18–49. “Supergirl” took flight in the ratings Monday night for CBS, riding fanboy/fangirl curiosity, a strong lead-in and mostly positive reviews to the fall’s top premiere score in the key young-adult demo as well as total viewers.Joining the increasingly crowded landscape of superhero television shows, the CBS drama found itself in good company as viewers flocked to social media to praise the show and its star Melissa Benoist. The debut was aided by a hearty push from opener The Big Bang Theory, (15.9 million, 4.2), and plenty of marketing and buzz surrounding the show — the first female-focused costumed superhero show to hit a Big 4 broadcast network in decades.

In Nielsen’s preliminary national estimates, “Supergirl” averaged a 3.2 rating/10 share in adults 18-49 and 12.9 million viewers overall from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m., retaining 76% of the young-adult audience for “The Big Bang Theory” in the 8 o’clock half-hour (4.2/14 in 18-49, 15.9 million viewers overall). The action-packed premiere, which saw Superman’s cousin, Kara Zor-El embrace her superpowers after her sister was nearly killed in a plane crash, had several surprising moments. The previous record holders this season among new shows were CBS’ Life in Pieces (11.3 million viewers) among total viewers and NBC’s procedural thriller Blindspot (3.1 rating).

Working as an assistant at a magazine, Kara’s life is turned upside down when her Supergirl persona – handily hidden from her journalist co-workers by a pair of glasses – is outed to the world. You know the one: After National City is in awe of the female hero who saved a commercial plane, Kara Danvers (Melissa Benoist) is thrilled that everyone finally saw her alter-ego’s superpowers. Supergirl could adjust to tie the Blindspot number in the demo when the nationals come in later today, but even if that happens its total audience tally will remain in first place for the fall. Superman’s BFF, Jimmy Olsen (Mehcad Brooks), also features in the show as does the intriguingly-named Winn Scott (Jeremy Jordan) who fans will know shares a name with infamous villain The Toyman.

And for all of 2015, it’s fourth — behind only, AMC’s “The Walking Dead” spinoff “Fear the Walking Dead” from August (4.9), Fox’s “Empire” in January (3.8) and AMC’s “Better Call Saul” in February (3.4, airing behind “The Walking Dead”). In a change from the comic books, Kara’s joined by her adoptive sister Alex, who it turns out, is a highly-trained agent with the Department of Extra-Normal Operations, and has been keeping an eye on Kara all her life. And in total viewers, “Supergirl” tops the bows of CBS comedy “Life in Pieces” (11.3 million) and NBC drama “Blindspot” (10.6 million) to rank No. 1 by this measure as well.

Supergirl was forecasted to be a show that might break that pattern, despite last night’s pilot leaking onto BitTorrent back in May (or, perhaps, aided by the buzziness generated by viewers watching the leaked version — it’s hard to know for sure). After a battle with one such prisoner, the super-powered Vartox, ended with an impressively expensive-looking truck smash and heat vision combo, Kara thinks she’s clean out of the woods but in the episode’s final moments, viewers see Kara’s evil aunt make clear that no-one will stand in her way. Shouldn’t she be called Superwoman? … If we call her Supergirl, something less than what she is, doesn’t that make us guilty of being anti-feminist? Otherwise known as The General, Fort Rozz’s overseeing hears of her niece’s heroics and issues a very simple request to her troops: “Find her and kill her.” In the spoiler trailer released after the episode Astra sends yet more henchmen to kill her niece before trying to do the job herself by punching her through several walls. Didn’t you say she’s a hero?” At this point, Cat delivers her best death stare: “I’m the hero!” she says. “I stuck a label on the side of this girl.

Monday’s premiere exceeded most prognostications, though some thought it would have popped a bit more, given that comicbook geeks generally help series with superhero themes get off to outsized starts. ABC’s “Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD,” for example, opened in September 2013 with the highest adults 18-49 rating for any new broadcast drama in recent years (4.7) but is now doing about one-third of that in same-night numbers in its third season, and Fox’s “Gotham” opened with a strong 3.3 in September of 2014 and is currently doing less than half that for Fox early in its second season. She has all the same powers [Superman] does.” Here’s EW’s recap of the premiere, and definitely check out our interview with the showrurnner about the premiere and what’s to come. So if you perceive Supergirl as anything less than excellent — isn’t the problem you?” So, that speech seems to exist to preemptively stop real-life critics from bashing the “girl” name, right?

On a recent conference call with Benoist and “Supergirl” executive producers Ali Adler, Greg Berlanti and Andrew Kreisberg, producers told us that with this scene, they wanted to echo the potential thoughts of the audience. “We sort of wanted to have a conversation with our characters that we believed that the audience would be having, and that others might be having in terms of saying, ‘Well, she’s an adult woman — why isn’t it called Superwoman?’ ” Kreisberg said. In his review, Variety‘s Brian Lowry called it “a very good, polished pilot,” even it represents a sizable gamble for a network known mostly for its crime drama procedurals.

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