Fast National ratings for Sunday, March 9, 2014.
ABC's relentless promotion of the midseason drama "Resurrection" paid off in a surprisingly huge debut on Sunday night, combining with "Once Upon a Time" and a boosted "Revenge" to help the network win the night among young viewers.
"Resurrection" had the second-biggest overall premiere for any new drama this year, behind only CBS' preview airing of "Intelligence" out of "NCIS." That didn't work so well. It was the top midseason drama among young viewers since the 2012 launch of "Smash." That also didn't work so well. The key difference is that unlike those two premieres, "Resurrection" was effectively a self-starter, building dramatically on its lead-in.
Overall, CBS got a bounce-back performance from "The Amazing Race: All-Stars" and an hour-winning return from "The Mentalist" to win the night in total viewers.
Sunday's other major notable was FOX's premiere of "Cosmos." The Seth MacFarlane-produced update on Carl Sagan's classic space-centric miniseries launched simultaneously on 10 networks on Sunday and FOX is expected to have overall numbers in a couple hours. The on-network component did reasonably well and was FOX's top show overall, but it ran into the unexpected "Resurrection" buzzsaw in the 9 p.m. hour. The FOX portion of "Cosmos" did top "Resurrection" among men 18-34.
[UPDATE: The 10-network premiere numbers for "Cosmos" are in. Including FOX and the nine satellite airings, "Cosmos" averaged a 2.9 rating among adults 18-49 and drew 8.5 million viewers.]
All of these optimistic numbers bely the normal declines associated with the start of Daylight Savings Time, which reliably lowers primetime TV usage in its first week or two.
On to the numbers...