'Once Upon a Time' starts strong in ratings


Image Credit: ABC

Can Once Upon a Time give ABC’s fall a happy ending? The fantasy adventure got off to a strong start in the ratings Sunday night, opening better than expected at 8 p.m.

Once delivered 12.8 million viewers and a 3.9 adults 18-49 rating, improving a whopping 86 percent on the usual time period average of Extreme Makeover in the slot. That makes Once Upon a Time the highest-rated new drama series premiere of the season — bigger than ABC’s Revenge, CBS’ Person of Interest or Fox’s Terra Nova.

The rest of ABC’s lineup wasn’t quite as enchanted, however. The strong Once lead-in improved Desperate Housewives (9.2 million, 3.0) by 11 percent at 9 p.m., but the magic had worn off by the time Pan Am (5.8 million, 1.8) took flight at 10 p.m.

On the sports front, there was more ratings wizardry at play since baseball may have edged out football among total viewers (though not among adults 18-49). In the early Nielsen ratings, Game 4 of the World Series on Fox delivered a 10.1 household rating while NBC’s Sunday Night Football had an 8.2 rating. It only took a championship baseball game facing the most lopsided victory in the six-year history of SNF for this to happen (the Saints defeated the winless Colts, 62-7).

On CBS, the numbers are all messy due to football overrun in some markets. The Good Wife appears to be roughly steady with last week.

Anyway, Once Upon a Time — that’s the story this morning. What did you think?


Comments (172 total) Add your comment
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  • g9

    That’s great. Hopefully it holds steady the next few weeks. I really enjoyed the pilot.

    • Lekzy

      Great strory!!

      • likda

        My best friend has just announced her wedding with a great man who is a cele+brity!
        They met-via { millionaireluv.сσм }
        It is nice club for rich men or pretty girls mate.
        You do not need to be wealthy or famous, but you can meet your true love, it’s worthy a try.

    • YEAH!!!!!

      SO happy. It’s my favorite show of the season and I literally watched the pilot 10X or more. It was the only show I was looking forward to this season and it did not disappoint. I love Ginnifer Goodwin and finally she’s in something I can watch again (hated mysoginist show she was on before).

      • Slizzard

        You know, it took a while for Big Love’s creep factor and the wrongness of it to wear off, but if you stick with it until the middle of season 2, you’ll see that the show criticizes polygamy too. It gives both sides of the story.

      • dmac2498

        How could you not like Big Love, the show was great (At least the frist four seasons). And by far Ginifer Goodwin stole the show!

      • D

        Big Love was an amazing show. It had some creepy people, but you still found yourself cheering for that odd, non-traditional family.

      • TV Cynic

        Ginnifer Goodwin was the weakest part of “Big Love”, next to Amanda Seyfried. Her babyish personality was so cloyingly irritating. I wish Paxton’s character would have cut her loose in Season 1.

      • Freddie Freeman

        How can this be your “favorite show of the season” after only one episode? Yes, the pilot was very good. But come on – such a snap judgement is pretty much thoughtless and impulsive….

    • Uh

      Fables did it, Fables did it!
      I mean, seriously, it’s pretty much a ripoff.

      • Mike

        Eddie Kitsis and Adam Horowitz (writers/producers) beg to differ. Google it.

      • Alyssa

        give it up. They said its in the same area. Im sick of hearing ” FABLES” everytime this show is mentioned.

        Can we view this on its own terms.

      • Jon

        If you’d pay attention, there have been a lot of fairy tales movies released and in development lately (Red Riding Hood, Sleeping Beauty, Jack and the Beanstalk).

        Once Upon A Time is merely piggybacking on the trend.

      • kolorblindd

        Fables? Fables borrowed the key elements from Moore’s Promethea, which came out a few years earlier…

  • Michelle

    Please let the ratings hold steady! I really loved it and hope ABC lets it stay on!

  • amanda

    I just watched it on abc.com and loved it!

  • Templar

    Absolutely loved it! And it’s fun trying to spot all of the subtle Disney references [guy in cell = Grumpy, Jiminy Cricket walking a Dalmation, Emma’s birthday candle = when you wish upon a star, Tinkerbell windmill etc.].

    • Cinn714

      I missed the “wish upon a star” reference good catch!

    • teena

      Wow I missed the candle part cute…it is fun to pick out characters

    • D

      Nice catch! (Wishing upon a star!!) I didn’t catch Jiminy Cricket walking that Dalmation either!

    • Z

      Guy is cell is Rumpelstitskin… NOT Grumpy!

      • Yo

        They’re talking about the real world “jail” that Emma was in…that guy.

      • Rodney

        No, the guy in the real world cell was Grumpy. Mr. Gold who collected the money from Grandma is Rumplestiltskin.

  • Cee Lo White

    The gorgeous and talented Jennifer Morrison is the best thing about Once Upon a Time.

    • skeeve

      Agree – did you see her a** in that read dress, especislly the way it sank in between her cheeks? Yow-za!

      • skeeve

        um – red

    • Erin

      I thought she was the worst thing IMO.She’s one of the main factors turning me off it (that siad I”m still torn and will be giving it a chance for a few more episodes).

  • Jason

    I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed the pilot, so I’m glad to see that it opened strong. Hopefully next week it remains fairly steady.

    • susan

      I agree. I turned it on thinking I would read during it since nothing else on interested me and found myself watching the whole thing instead of reading. It was highly entertaining and I was sorry when the hour ended. Hope the ratings continue.

  • Chelsea

    Fingers crossed that next week doesn’t drop off!

  • 50Otis50

    I wanted to love Once Upon a Time, but something was missing. Perhaps too bland. No humor or suspense to keep me involved. Too typical of a watered down concept made for Disney TV aka ABC. Good enough to give it another viewing, but it is on a short leash. Oh yeah, the actress who plays Snow White in fairy tale mode and in real life mode is NOT the ravishing beauty that would make any evil queen jealous. Terrible casting.

    • g9

      Who are you kidding? Ginnifer Goodwin is stunning.

      • handyrae

        You think so? I thought she was better looking than average, but not much more than that. If the mirror thought she was the fairest of them all, it needed a good cleaning.

      • Ruby

        Goodwin is pretty, but not with that haircut. Her ears stick out too much.

      • thin

        She’s beautiful, but I agree with Ruby. Then again, I think that her less-than-flattering look in Storybookland (or whatever it was called) was kind of the point of the curse. They’re supposed to be in a grim reality, and grim is not usually very flattering.

    • Kelson

      Ginnifer is gorgeous. But the Evil Queen has absolutely stolen my heart. She is absolutely stunning.

    • Steph

      Hang in there! :0) They only have a small budget to work with to jumpstart the show. I feel there will lots of great things happening with the story line.

  • chad

    wait….is Grim different? Looks like the same premis. haha This reminds me of Madagassar and Into the Wild, 2 companies make the same movie.

    • AB

      Grimm is more of a crime show and the main characters are 2 guys.

    • heather

      Grimm is a procedural cop show with a sprinkling of fairy tale dust on top.

      • Dave

        And they’re BOTH cribbing heavily from Fables. The Grimm murder mystery deal is also the first arc of Fables.

    • Marvin3O

      well it’s the story of TV all over, for some reason every season there are two shows that are very similar, 30 rock and Studio 60, Pan Am and The Playboy Club, Invasion and Threshold, and let’s not talk about all the procedural shows… Same s#!+ different channel

  • Heather

    The evil witch definately cursed snow white, with terrible hair!

    • realitycheck

      I know right! The wedding hair was just awful and then in the real world its so short it reminds me of when recovering cancer patient’s hair is just starting to grow back in not a good look for Snow White

  • jan

    One of the best shows on network tv, IMO. Finally, something family friendly with enough mystery and intrigue and rento keep adult viewers like me happy.
    Hope it continues to do well, and maybe even do better, as work-of-mouth spreads.
    It may not be a critical favorite *cough*KenTucker*cough*, but most posters seem to love it!

    • Dan

      REALLY???? I liked it and all, but it’s one episode, how can you say one of the best shows on TV after one episode?

      • JS

        I agree the “one of the best shows on TV” was over the top, but look around…there isn’t much else out there. Personally, I thought it was a nice beginning, and we’ll see where the story goes from here. They have me for at least a few more weeks. I do, however, have some reservations about getting involved in another convoluted plot from the people who gave us Lost. That show did a great job of creating a wonderfully mysterious world, and a lousy job of explaining it at the end. The fairy tale setting creates both good possibilities (a world that provides a reasonable setting for what is happening that Lost lacked) and bad possibilities (the ability to explain anything away by saying it’s “magic”).

      • Rodney

        The Big Bang Theory is one of the best shows on TV.

    • Peter

      Does it really matter what Ken Tucker thinks? if he would have known it was going to get high ratings he review would have been postive. Anyhow EW should have reviews of show based on reviwers demographics, for instance Ken Tucker would give a show like “Matlock” a glowing review where as a younger person would not like it so much.

  • Laura

    I’m so glad! I really liked it. I know that Ken Tucker didn’t but i hope that EW gives it support.

  • Greg

    The show was fantastic. i hope it makes it.

  • Saran

    The ratings for Once Upon A Time are awesome, considering it was up against NFL Football, the World Series and fan favorite The Amazing Race. I thought the show was fantastic, what were you watching Ken Tucker.

  • Tina

    I actually don’t like fantasy shows, but this one was pretty good. It kept me interested and it was CLEAN without bad language and sexual content. Which is nice for a change.

    • priscilla

      Thank goodness~~it was better then I expected~~Please let it succeed~~that was one hour that went soooooo fast! Be there for sure next Sunday!!

      • gregg

        i agree. as i watch i looked at the clock and thought, darn almost over

      • LOL

        CHUCK is back this Friday!

      • Barb

        I know – I was bummed when it ended. I hate watching shows that are on for more than an hour, but I was mesmerized! One hour wasn’t enough!

      • Yo

        Yup…CHUCK is back…I have both Chuck & Once Upon A Time set on DVR. Also, Grimm…we’ll see how that goes.

    • Chris

      I don’t know what you think of as bad language but I heard a couple words that surprised me for an 8:00 show.

      • Jason

        Welcome to 2011!!

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