I seem to be among the few ratings watchers who was a little underwhelmed by the opening-night ratings for “Glee.” Now that the final overnight numbers are in, it’s worth examining how the show did and how that lines up with expectations.
Mine were apparently a little high. I was figuring “Glee” would pull in maybe a 3.8 rating in the adults 18-49 demographic and somewhere around 9 million viewers — which is close to what the pilot drew after “American Idol” in May, but after a summer of heavy promotion and something approaching rapture among critics, I thought it might reach close to those numbers despite a much smaller lead-in in “So You Think You Can Dance.”
It didn’t, not quite. “Glee” ended up with a 3.5 in adults 18-49 (up from 3.3 in the morning numbers) and 7.5 million viewers (up from 7.3 million). But a FOX exec told me that the network had been projecting about a 3.0 rating, so they’re pretty happy with the performance. It also did very well with adults 18-34, actually improving on the May preview numbers (3.6 vs. 3.3), and especially women of that age (5.3, compared to 4.2 in May). All those numbers will rise some when seven-day DVR viewing is factored in, because that’s just how TV works now.
The big question is whether “Glee” can hold onto that audience. Anecdotally at least, the show already has a cadre of hard-core fans who will turn up no matter what. If that was most of the audience who tuned in Wednesday, the show will be fine.
A couple other ratings notes:
– FX’s “Sons of Anarchy” had a big opening to its second season, setting ratings records across the board.
The show drew close to 4.3 million viewers Tuesday night, way up from its first-season average of 2.2 million. Just over 3 million of those viewers were in the 18-49 demo, nearly doubling the total for the series premiere last year (1.55 million). In men 18-49, “Sons” drew 1.97 million viewers, the best mark ever for a series telecast on FX.
The bump in adults 18-49 was the biggest season one-to-season two improvement an FX show has ever had.
– It was good news/bad news for the short-girls edition of “America’s Next Top Model” on Wednesday. The good part was that the season premiere gave The CW its best Wednesday numbers since March among the target audience of young women.
The bad was that “Top Model” was off about 10 percent among women 18-34 compared to last fall’s premiere and down 12 percent in adults 18-49 (1.5 vs. 1.7 last fall).
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TV ratings: So-so start for ‘Glee’ as NBC wins Wednesday
‘America’s Next Top Model’: Send in the short girls