September 20, 2016



There was nothing to get excited about on the first night of the new season.

DEMOGRAPHIC DETAIL: For each broadcast program (or hour segment), the chart below displays preliminary key advertiser demographics (adult 18-34, 18-49 and 25-54 ratings), audience skews (women 18-49, men 18-49 and adults 50+ shares) and total viewership (thousands of people over the age of 2).

Ratings analysis and comparisons follow the chart.


CBS:  THE BIG BANG THEORY was the night’s highest-rated show.  However, its 3.6 was down a full point from last year’s premiere, and while it was up slightly from the 3.4 for last season’s finale, it suggests that this may be the season BIG BANG falls below the 3 threshold.  The better news for CBS was the 2.6 for KEVIN CAN WAIT, the same number as LIFE IN PIECES scored in its season premiere, despite the lower lead-in.  (Of course, this is why a network builds a show around a star like Kevin James in the first place.)  That suggests a decent shot of KEVIN being able to lead the night once BIG BANG returns to Thursdays next month.  The rest of the night was filled with the conclusion of THE CASE OF JONBENET RAMSEY, down 0.3 from Sunday’s installment to 1.8.

NBC:  THE VOICE shook things up for the new season, including the addition of new celebrity judges, and it held well compared to the last season premiere, down 0.2 to 3.3.  However, THE GOOD PLACE dropped to 2.3 after that (2.0 for its 2d half-hour), considerably down from BLINDSPOT’s 3.1 in that slot last fall.  Last night’s lead-in was likely the best GOOD PLACE will ever have, so it’s heading to Thursday with more questions than answers.

FOX:  GOTHAM returned down 0.4 from last fall’s premiere to 1.2, and LUCIFER was at 1.3, steady with last season’s finale.  (Comparisons with last season’s 2.4 premiere aren’t fair because it followed a big X-FILES lead-in.)

ABC:  DANCING WITH THE STARS fell 0.4 to 1.7 against much heavier competition, and the finale of MATCH GAME was at 0.9.

CW:  A pair of SUPERGIRL reruns at 0.3.

Tonight’s roster features the arrival of two of the new season’s most highly-touted dramas, NBC’s THIS IS US and CBS’s BULL.  Returnees include the second session of SCREAM QUEENS, and the move of AGENTS OF SHIELD to 10PM.

COMPARISONS TO SIMILAR NIGHTS: Preliminary adult 18-49 ratings versus the same night last year and same night last week.


CABLE RATINGS: Come back this afternoon for detailed demographic ratings for top cable programs from this day.


About the Author

Mitch Salem
MITCH SALEM has worked on the business side of the entertainment industry for 20 years, as a senior business affairs executive and attorney for such companies as NBC, ABC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and BermanBraun Productions, and before that, at the NY law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. During all that, he has more or less constantly been going to the movies and watching TV, and writing about both since the 1980s. His film reviews also currently appear on and In addition, he is co-writer of an episode of the television series "Felicity."