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'Beauty and the Beast' return ratings ain't pretty


The CW’s return to Monday nights got off to a rocky start: Hart of Dixie and Beauty and the Beast posted declines last night compared to last year’s debuts. Dixie was down a tenth, while Beauty was down a sharp 64 percent from its Thursday number last fall among adults 18-49 (where it had a Vampire Diaries lead-in).

Among the major networks, pretty much every show slipped a little. NBC’s The Blacklist — now picked up for a full season — led the night among scripted shows, off only a tenth from last week. Fellow newcomer at 10 p.m., Hostages on CBS, continued its fatal-looking decline. Earlier in the night freshman sitcom We Are Men is also starting to red-line. Mom isn’t looking too hot either, but with bigger headaches on CBS’ grid, Chuck Lorre’s latest is likely safe for now.

Over on Fox, new fantasy drama Sleepy Hollow fell 10 percent, pretty much echoing the move of lead-in Bones, though still posted a very respectable number. ABC’s Dancing was the sole gainer, up slightly. Full chart: READ FULL STORY

'Revenge,' 'Betrayal' jilted, forsaken by fans


A chunk of fans broke up with ABC’s Revenge and Betrayal block Sunday night. While Once Upon a Time mostly held onto last week’s premiere ratings at 8 p.m., the high-emotion-title soaps at 9 and 10 slipped to worrisome numbers.

Revenge had 6.7 million viewers and a 1.9 rating among adults 18-49, down 17 percent from last week’s season three premiere. While new affair drama Betrayal fell 27 percent to 4 million viewers and a 1.1 rating. Sorry Revenge and Betrayal – it’s you, not them. Lucky 7 you won’t be alone for long the way Betrayal in particular is trending. But how many times can ABC run Scandal repeats?

CBS’ block was way up in the ratings — maybe. The NFL overrun jostles around the early numbers, as you can see below. It makes week-to-week comparisons inaccurate in these morning returns. On NBC, football ruled. Over on Fox, Simpsons and American Dad held steady from last week’s premieres, but Bob’s Burgers and Family Guy slipped. Full chart: READ FULL STORY

'Scandal' returns to best ratings yet, but new shows debut low


Four new shows premiered Thursday night to mostly downbeat ratings, but ABC’s stealth bomber hit Scandal returned bigger than ever. The Washington D.C.-set soap continued last season’s rocketing trajectory to post its best ratings yet for its third season premiere.

Scandal delivered 10.5 million viewers and 3.6 rating among adults 18-49. That’s up 71 percent from its premiere last year, and also rises 13 percent from its previous best (the season two finale).

Sadly, that’s nearly the extent of the upbeat ratings news from last night:

– NBC’s inter-racial family comedy Welcome to the Family and Sean Hayes-as-single-dad sitcom Sean Saves the World threw gutter balls, opening to a 1.2 and a 1.8 rating, respectively (full chart below). Welcome to the Family is actually the lowest-rated fall comedy debut in NBC history, and that comes a day after the network unveiled the lowest-rated fall drama in its history with Ironside. Last week’s newcomer The Michael J. Fox Show slipped 14 percent. This is the first Thursday of the season that NBC has all its new comedy lineup firing all at once and not one show is doing a 2.0 rating. NBC has been doing well compared to rivals this fall and has posted gains over last year. But Thursday is a very key night for advertisers. Where does this comedy block go from here?

– CBS launched Will Arnett bathroom-humor sitcom The Millers, which did great with a huge Big Bang Theory lead-in, though not as well as Robin Williams’ The Crazy Ones debut last week. Second week of Crazy Ones, now with The Millers as a lead-in instead of Big Bang, fell 26 percent (which isn’t too bad, given it had a much softer opening act). Two and a Half Men has to be getting a little worrisome, however. The raunchy 11th season comedy just fell 17 percent to a series low. Wouldn’t it be funny if it turned out that Angus T. Jones was the secret glue holding that show together all these years?

– The CW is back! Welcome to the party. The broadcaster launched its fall with The Vampire Diaries returning down 25 percent for its fifth season premiere and spin-off The Originals was down 25 percent from Beauty and the Beast premiere in this slot. The CW points out TVD adds 69 percent to its viewership from streaming on other platforms (in other words: “We don’t need your stupid old Nielsen ratings, we have our own new system and it thinks we’re really cool!”).

– Fox’s X Factor was stable. Glee fell 20 percent to a very modest number. Yet the preview for next week’s Cory Monteith memorial is generating plenty of online interest. Full chart:


Simon Cowell on low 'X Factor' ratings: 'If it's good, the ratings will go up'

For Simon Cowell, the ratings game is simple. “If it’s good, the ratings will go up. If it’s terrible they’ll go down,” the reality mogul told EW.

The X Factor’s third season got off to a rocky start, hitting a new ratings low with its season premiere and continuing to disappoint. Cowell isn’t worried, though, and sees the dip as part of the cycle that all shows must endure. “You’ve just got to do what we’ve always done over the year for these shows,” he said. “You have your high moments, you have your dips, and you roll your sleeves up and do something better than everyone else is doing.” That high moment, he hopes, could be the new Four Chair Challenge, airing Wednesday on Fox.

'Blacklist' ratings remain strong (but not all new shows so lucky)


NBC’s The Blacklist won the New Show Lotto again Monday night, but some other freshman titles weren’t so fortunate.

The James Spader crime thriller was down only 5 percent from last week’s premiere, though that includes a minute of Voice overrun that will later get factored out. When you look at Blacklist by half-hours, the first is a 3.8 among adults 18-49 and the second is 3.3, so there’s clearly some drainage.

Fox’s Sleepy Hollow, too, was relatively unscathed. The third week saw the Gothic crime procedural down only 3 percent in the ratings.

Yet CBS’ new shows had challenges across the board on a night when the network is normally very strong. The premiere of the critically slammed We Are Men was predictably troubled at 8:30 p.m. — 6.4 million and a 2.0 rating, down sharply from its HIMYM lead-in. We Are Men could have made it tougher for 2 Broke Girls, which was down 14 percent. The promising Mom slipped 12 percent from last week’s modest opener. And at 10 p.m., Hostages fell 17 percent against Blacklist to rank a distant third in the hour.

Meanwhile the night’s heaviest of hitters, The Voice, was down 10 percent from last week’s launch.

This just in: NBC put out a release touting that the network not only won premiere week, but is up 7 percent from last year with a 35 percent margin of victory over the No. 2 network (ABC, surprisingly).

Here’s the full chart: READ FULL STORY

'Revenge' returns lower amid Sunday ratings bummer


What do Revenge, Once Upon a Time, The Good Wife, The Mentalist, Amazing Race and all of Fox’s animation block have in common? Every show returned with a season premiere last night that was lower rated than last fall’s opener.

It was an across-the-board Sunday bummer for broadcast entertainment shows. Starting with ABC, Once was down 33 percent and Revenge was down 25 percent. New adultery drama Betrayal got off to a decidedly unsexy 5.3 million viewers and a 1.5 adults 18-49 rating, down 29 percent from 666 Park Ave. in this slot last year.

On CBS, Amazing Race was down 20 percent, The Good Wife was down 17 percent and The Mentalist was down 24 percent (all slightly delayed, naturally). Good Wife tied Betrayal as the night’s lowest-rated entertainment program and you have to figure this is likely a final season starting at that number for a fifth year show.

Fox: Simpsons down 26 percent, Bob’s Burgers down 19 percent, Family Guy down 21 percent, and American Dad down 16 percent. So there — American Dad gets the award for dropping the least, percentage wise. READ FULL STORY

'SNL' ratings hold steady with Tina Fey-hosted premiere

Saturday Night Live has gone through a serious shift during its offseason, losing Bill Hader, Fred Armisen, and Jason Sudeikis, adding six new castmembers, and putting Cecily Strong in the Weekend Update chair. One thing that didn’t change, however, is the ratings.

The Tina Fey-led premiere averaged a 4.7 rating and a 2.7 among adults 18-49 — equaling the numbers for the Ben Affleck-hosted season finale in May. The rating is a 10th of a point below last year’s season premiere.

SNL returns next week with Miley Cyrus as host and musical guest, while Bruce Willis will host on Oct. 12 with musical guest Katy Perry.

Robin Williams crushes Michael J. Fox in sitcom showdown


Thursday night’s battle of returning ’80s sitcom icons was no contest: The premiere of Robin Williams’ new CBS comedy The Crazy Ones hugely out-performed the return of Michael J. Fox to NBC.

Benefiting from a massive Big Bang Theory lead-in, ad-agency comedy The Crazy Ones had 15.6 million viewers and a 4.0 rating among adults 18-49 at 9 p.m. In the same time slot, family sitcom The Michael J. Fox Show had only 7.2 million viewers and a 2.1 demo rating, on par with last fall’s final season premiere of The Office.

And that Big Bang Theory opener? It’s the largest in the show’s history. The 8 p.m. debut had 18.3 million viewers and a 5.3 rating, while the 8:30 p.m. second episode had a stunning 19.5 million viewers and a 5.8 rating.

The Mork vs. Alex P. Keaton face-off brought back the stars of TV comedy classics Mork & Mindy and Family Ties to prime-time. Both shows received mixed reviews from critics, but Michael J. Fox enjoyed marginally more positive reactions based Metacritic scores (our Michael J. Fox Show review here; our take on Crazy Ones here). CBS notes Crazy Ones is now the most-watched new show of the fall, but ABC’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., which blew the doors off Tuesday night, stands as the highest-rated new title in the demo at this point.

The good news for NBC: The back-to-back second episode of The Michael J. Fox Show at 9:30 received the same rating as the premiere — so there wasn’t any attrition — though its also worth pointing out the competition was weaker in that half-hour. The second episode was against the return of CBS’ Two and a Half Men (chart below), which introduced new co-star Amber Tamblyn as Charlie’s long-lost lesbian daughter. Men was down 17 percent from last year. READ FULL STORY

'South Park' NSA surveillance spoof gets big ratings


South Park. It’s the 17th season. And yet Wednesday night’s premiere delivered the animated comedy’s biggest rating in years.

The Comedy Central hit came back to 4.3 million viewers across three telecasts, with the first airing delivering the most viewers for the show since 2011 and the highest young male demo ratings since 2010.

The episode titled “Let Go, Let Gov” mocked the NSA’s mass surveillance scandal (clip below). In the episode, Cartman played the role of an Edward Snowden-style whistleblower who infiltrates the NSA and rants about privacy violations — yet can’t stop revealing his every thought online to anybody who will listen.

South Park fans had a longer-than-usual wait for new episodes this year, given that creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone’s decision to produce fewer episodes (10 per year). On Sunday, South Park also won its fifth Emmy for outstanding animated program. READ FULL STORY

'Revolution' disarmed in season 2 premiere ratings


If you’re NBC, you’re opening up Nielsen’s email with Wednesday night’s ratings and peeking at it through your fingers like it’s a horror movie: You know the numbers are going to be scary, you just don’t know how scary.

NBC moved Revolution from having a Voice lead-in on Monday nights to self-start on its troubled Wednesdays this fall, and gave the coveted reality show lead-in to new James Spader drama The Blacklist instead. Even with typically having a Voice lead-in, Revolution had fallen off a fair amount through its first run of episode. Last night season two debuted. How did the post-apocalyptic drama hold up? Let’s take a peek:

Revolution had 6.8 million viewers and a 1.8 adults 18-49 rating. That’s down 56 percent from its series premiere, and a bit lower than what the show averaged at the end of last season, as well. Revolution also came in behind ABC comedies, CBS’ Survivor and Fox’s The X Factor. Yup, Revolution disarmed by Simon Cowell, who had a 15 percent bump this week. You can make an argument that this rating isn’t nearly as bad as it could have been, and that NBC was sure doing worse in this slot last season. And there’s certainly logic to that. It’s just tough to get excited about fourth place.

There was some clearly positive news for NBC: The two-hour Law & Order SVU return jumped 29 percent thanks to having a semi-decent lead-in.

Over on ABC, new comedy Back in the Game (7.9 million, 2.2) was an improvement vs. The Neighbors debut in this slot last year.

Otherwise… otherwise … READ FULL STORY

'Agents of SHIELD' ratings a Hulk smash


Fall’s buzziest new drama had a super-powered premiere Tuesday night: ABC’s Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. — a show so big it takes two company names to officially describe it — delivered 11.9 million viewers and a 4.6 adults 18-49 rating. That makes S.H.I.E.L.D. TV’s highest-rated drama debut in nearly four years (since ABC’s V premiere in November, 2009).

That adult demo number is particular impressive given the show’s time slot. S.H.I.E.L.D. had to self-start at 8 p.m. — no lead-in — and ran against huge competition: NBC’s The Voice and CBS’ NCIS are two of the most popular shows on television. And how did it stand up? S.H.I.E.L.D. (recap here) actually managed to tie the two-hour The Voice overall in the demo (4.6) — and beat it head-to-head during the 8 p.m. hour — while trouncing the return of NCIS in the demo (3.4), though obviously losing among total viewers (19.4 million).

S.H.I.E.L.D. may be a new show, but it dove into the scrum with with a familiar brand. The Marvel universe has been bombarding theaters for years with Thor, Captain America, Iron Man and The Avengers. S.H.I.E.L.D. is basically a TV-sized spin-off. And tapping pre-existing fantasy universes was already proven to work with two recent primetime shows — ABC’s fairy tale-stuffed Once Upon a Time and The CW’s DC Comics lynchpin Arrow. Now Fox is getting into the game by developing a Batman-verse series. READ FULL STORY

Daytime ratings: 'The Talk' tied with 'The View'

The broadcast networks may have only begun the new TV season on Monday but the race for dominance kicked off much earlier in the world of daytime talk shows.

New hosts on the The View, not to mention the revelation of those crazy secrets on The Talk, didn’t help to unseat Dr. Phil; he still remains the No. 1 talker in daytime among women 25-54, according to Nielsen results through the week of Sept. 9. Meanwhile, kudos to Michael Strahan, who’s been a great addition to Kelly and Michael. He and Ms. Ripa are currently ranked No. 2 in the key demo.

So far, though, the most interesting race is occurring between the ladies of The Talk and The View. The chatfests are neck-in-neck in the key female demographic.

Time for some more secrets to be revealed?


'Downton Abbey' scores its highest U.K. premiere numbers


And so the temptation to look at online spoilers begins. Downton Abbey‘s fourth season debuted in Britain Sunday night and averaged 9.5 million viewers, according to ITV. That’s a huge 39.7 percent share, The Guardian reports, nearly twice the percentage of American audiences that typically tune in to watch the U.S.’s top program, NBC’s Sunday night NFL game.

The season 4 premiere was up half a million from the 9 million viewers who tuned in for the start of season 2 and season 3. The series premiere averaged 7.7 million in 2010.

Season 4 debuts Jan. 5 in the U.S. on PBS.


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