One week of the 2012-13 TV season is in the books (mostly; DVR ratings are still being calculated). It’s too early to make long-term judgments about how the season will shake out, but several things did stand out during premiere week. Some of it was good, some of it was bad, and with at least one new show, we’re still trying to figure things out.
NBC’s Monday night: “Revolution” opened well on Sept. 17, but that was against light competition. Everyone wanted to see how it and “The Voice” would do opposite ABC’s and CBS’ premieres, and the answer on Sept. 24 was “quite well, thanks.” “The Voice” led the 8-10 p.m. block in adults 18-49 by a solid margin, and “Revolution” more than held its own opposite “Castle” and “Hawaii Five-0,” leading the hour in the 18-49 demographic. Early DVR figures also have “Revolution” growing by a bunch: “Live +3” data show it’s added 1.75 points in adults 18-49 and 3.7 million viewers.
“Modern Family” and “The Big Bang Theory”: Two of last season’s biggest shows scored the best 18-49 ratings of any program not involving NFL teams last week. “Modern Family” delivered a 5.5 rating in the 18-49 demo along with 14.4 million viewers, while “Big Bang” scored a 5.0 and close to 15.7 million viewers. Both shows were big DVR performers last season as well, so those numbers figure to get even loftier.
“Vegas” and “Elementary”: CBS’ pair of new 10 p.m. dramas both scored big among viewers in their debuts, with “Vegas” drawing 14.85 million people and “Elementary” 13.4 million. The latter also had the second-best 18-49 rating of any freshman drama last week (3.1). “Vegas” posted a middling 2.5 in that demographic on Tuesday, but Live +3 DVR numbers have pushed it up to a 3.2.
CBS’ Tuesday night: Outside of NBC and “Sunday Night Football,” no night on any network brought in a bigger total audience than this one. “NCIS” and “NCIS: Los Angeles” both had big premieres, and the Eye had a lead of more than 7 million viewers for the night while also winning the 18-49 demographic. CBS was widely expected to stay strong on Tuesday, but the numbers are still pretty darn impressive.
ABC’s Sunday night (before 10 p.m.): “Once Upon a Time” remained remarkably consistent in its Season 2 premiere, drawing nearly identical ratings in each of its half-hours on Sunday. “Revenge” also did well on its new night, basically matching its series premiere a year ago in adults 18-49 (3.3 vs. 3.4) and coming very close in viewers as well (9.5 million vs. 10.15 million). On the downside, “666 Park Avenue” couldn’t keep up the momentum at 10 o’clock.
FOX’s Tuesday night: “New Girl,” “Ben and Kate” and “The Mindy Project” are all pretty well-liked among critics, but that didn’t translate to a big viewer splash. Opposite CBS’ powerhouse, a two-hour “Dancing With the Stars” results show and NBC’s “Voice”-plus-comedies block, FOX’s comedies finished fourth in viewers and third in adults 18-49. “New Girl” has scored some substantial gains in the Live +3 DVR ratings, but the two newcomers haven’t come up as much.
“Animal Practice” and “Guys With Kids”: NBC’s Wednesday comedy block started poorly. Neither show made it to even a 2.0 rating among adults 18-49, and combined the hour averaged about 5 million viewers. Mondays and Tuesdays look to be getting healthier for the network, but there’s still a lot of work to do here.
“Partners” and “Made in Jersey”: CBS’ other new series underwhelmed in their debuts. Both fell off a good amount from their lead-ins (“How I Met Your Mother” and “CSI: NY”) and scored the network’s two smallest total audiences of the week at 6.6 million and 7.8 million viewers.
“The Mob Doctor”: FOX’s freshman drama didn’t do much in its premiere, and the numbers only got worse in week two. Only “Made in Jersey” (1.1 on Friday) had a lower 18-49 rating among new series last week.