TV Ratings: Huge 'Resurrection' premiere leads ABC to surprising Sunday split
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...
Among adults 18-49, ABC averaged a 2.2 rating for Sunday night, tops in the key demographic. FOX's 1.7 key demo rating was second, just ahead of the 1.6 key demo rating for CBS. NBC's 1.1 key demo rating finished fourth for the night.
Overall, though, CBS averaged 9.47 million viewers and a 6.0 rating/10 share for Sunday primetime, beating ABC's 7.66 million viewers and 4.6/8. NBC was third with 4.75 million viewers and a 3.1/4, topping the 4.095 million viewers and 2.4/4 for FOX.
7 p.m. - CBS started primetime in first with 10.61 million viewers and a 1.5 rating among adults 18-49 for "60 Minutes." NBC's "Dateline" was second with 4.7 million viewers and fourth with a 0.9 key demo rating. ABC's "Once Upon a Time" catch-up episode averaged 4.38 million viewers for third and a 1.2 key demo rating for second. FOX was fourth overall and third in the key demo with "Bob's Burgers" (2.12 million and a 0.9 key demo) and "The Simpsons" (2.65 million and a 1.2 key demo).
8 p.m. - "The Amazing Race: All-Stars" averaged 8.43 million viewers to win the 8 p.m. hour overall for CBS, coming in third with a 1.8 rating among adults 18-49. The return of "Once Upon a Time" averaged 7.27 million viewers and a 2.3 key demo rating, comfortably up from the show's December finale audience. NBC's "Dateline" rose to 6.3 million viewers for third and a 1.3 key demo rating in fourth. On FOX, episodes of "The Simpsons" (3.725 million and a 1.6 key demo) and "Family Guy" (4.49 million and a 2.2 key demo) finished fourth overall and second in the key demo.
9 p.m. - "Resurrection" stormed out of the gates with 13.31 million viewers and a 3.6 rating among adults 18-49 for ABC, ranking as Sunday's top show in both major measurements and in all female demos. ["Resurrection" grew at the half-hour in all measures.] CBS' "The Good Wife" was second with 8.91 million viewers and third with a 1.3 key demo rating. FOX's portion of the "Cosmos" launch averaged 5.79 million viewers for third and a 2.1 key demo rating for second, with full numbers coming in an hour or so. NBC's encore of "The Voice" averaged 3.92 million viewers and a 1.0 key demo rating for fourth.
10 p.m. - "The Mentalist" won the 10 p.m. hour overall for CBS with 9.94 million viewers, but finished second with a 1.6 rating among adults 18-49. ABC's "Revenge" was up from its last original airing with nearly 6.5 million viewers and an hour-winning 1.9 key demo rating. [A lot of that "Revenge" growth was "Resurrection"-boosted, with the 10:30 half-hour falling to 5.76 million viewers and a 1.6 key demo.] NBC's "The Voice" encore averaged 4.06 million viewers and a 1.1 key demo rating in third.
All ratings information comes from preliminary Fast National Nielsen data, which includes live and same-day DVR viewing. All numbers are subject to change.