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Premiere Week Is in the Books: Here's Your Ratings Winners and Losers

By Dustin Rowles | Industry | September 30, 2014 |

By Dustin Rowles | Industry | September 30, 2014 |

Premiere week is over and done, and now we’re in the midst of week two of the official fall television season. After the dust settled, let’s see what it looks like on the broadcast networks:


Big Bang Theory continues to dominate the ratings, even in its temporary new home on Monday nights, and in week one, it at least helped give Scorpion a solid sampling. It’s still too early to know whether viewers will stick around (It’s CBS, and it’s a procedural, so probably). Besides Big Bang Theory, The Voice continues to dominate the night (and win NBC the demo prize).

Meanwhile, on Fox, Gotham had a solid premiere, but Sleepy Hollow tumbled in its second season opening.

In the 10:00 hour, The Blacklist continued to dominate viewers and in the demo for NBC, while the debut of Forever failed to kick up much of a fight over on ABC.

Prediction: Forever doesn’t make it past mid-season, while Gotham and Sleepy Hollow will continue to suffer ratings erosion, but will stick around anyway because Fox doesn’t have anything else up its sleeve right now.


On Tuesday, the big story was the huge numbers that NCIS New Orleans put up, making it the highest rated premiere of the season (until Thursday, anyway). Meanwhile, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. floundered in its return despite some creative momentum, and over on Fox, New Girl and The Mindy Project continued to struggle badly, while Utopia is on life support

Prediction: New Girl sticks around, but Brooklyn Nine Nine replaces Mindy at mid-season, and Utopia is cancelled for an infomercial (which get better ratings at this point). NCIS: New Orleans goes until Scott Bakula passes away in his late 70s.


The ABC family sitcom block (The Middle, The Golderbs, Modern Family and black-ish) are all in good shape. Meanwhile, Survivor is seeing a slight uptick on CBS, while Mysteries of Laura had a steep, but not crippling fall in its second week on NBC. Red Band Society over on Fox, however, continues to fall precipitously.

Prediction: ABC’s new family block stays together for the next three years, Mysteries of Laura struggles until its tucked away on a different night where it can do less damage, and not even Fox’s overall struggles will save Red Band Society, which will be pushed off the schedule come November sweeps.


Thursday Night Football won the night on CBS, but Shonda Rhimes owned the night on ABC, as Scandal rose over last year’s numbers, Grey’s continued to perform well, and How to Get Away with Murder ended up the highest rated premiere of the season in the demo. At 10 p.m. Bones on Fox and Parenthood on NBC were their usual tepid selves.

Prediction: Parenthood is already on its way out, and when Fox and NBC put up their new shows this week against Thursday Night Football and the Shonda Block, they’re going to get demolished. Meanwhile, Shonda Rhimes begins wearing a tiara around the house.


Friday was mostly re-airs and CBS premieres, although Utopia on Fox scored only as well as a Mysteries of Laura re-run on NBC (ouch). Amazing Race also had a fairly disappointing outing in its new Friday timeslot.

Prediction: Blue Bloods and Shark Tank run forever on CBS. The Amazing Race eventually finds a new timeslot.


The return of Once Upon a Time was huge for ABC. The Simpsons (with a minor character death) and The Family Guy (with The Simpsons crossover) did really well for Fox. In fact, they boosted Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s numbers in between, although B99 also had something of a disappointing hold. It scored a 2.5 in the demo, sandwiched between The Simpsons (3.9) and Family Guy (4.5). Meanwhile, Revenge and CSI were reliable but unexciting for their respective networks in the 10:00 slot.

Prediction: Once Upon a Time adopts all the Frozen characters and makes them series regulars, Bob’s Burgers eventually takes over Brooklyn NIne-Nine’s slot once it replaces Mindy on Tuesdays. (Mulaney debuts Sunday, but it’s gonna tank).

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Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here, follow him on Twitter, or listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.