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‘American Crime’ Return Disappoints on ABC

'American Idol' Season Opener Leads Fox to Wednesday Victory

What follows are the preliminary national ratings for Wednesday, January 6 broken out by network and by each half-hour. Note that these results are based on the time period averages and are not program based.

-Total Viewers:
Fox: 10.85 million, NBC: 7.80, ABC: 6.42, CBS: 6.14, CW: 1.03

-Adults 18-49:
Fox: 2.9 rating/9 share, ABC: 1.9/ 6, NBC: 1.6/ 5, CBS: 1.4/ 5, CW: 0.3/ 1


8:00 p.m.

ABC – The Middle
Viewers: 7.83 million (#2), A18-49: 2.1/ 7 (#2)

CBS – 2 Broke Girls (time period premiere)
Viewers: 6.29 million (#4), A18-49: 1.7/ 6 (#3)

NBC – The Mysteries of Laura
Viewers: 6.98 million (#3), A18-49: 1.1/ 4 (#4)

Fox – American Idol (season premiere)
Viewers: 10.01 million (#1), A18-49: 2.6/ 9 (#1)

CW: Arrow (R)
Viewers: 1.17 million (#5), A18-49: 0.4/ 1 (#5)


8:30 p.m.

ABC – The Goldbergs
Viewers: 6.59 million (#4), A18-49: 2.1/ 7 (#2)

CBS – Mike & Molly (season premiere)
Viewers: 6.68 million (#3), A18-49: 1.6/ 5 (#3)

NBC – The Mysteries of Laura
Viewers: 6.82 million (#2), A18-49: 1.0/ 3 (#4)

Fox – American Idol (season premiere)
Viewers: 11.27 million (#1), A18-49: 3.0/10 (#1)

CW: Arrow (R)
Viewers: 1.07 million (#5), A18-49: 0.3/ 1 (#5)


9:00 p.m.

ABC – Modern Family
Viewers: 8.32 million (#2), A18-49: 2.7/ 9 (#2)

CBS – 2016 People’s Choice Awards
Viewers: 5.96 million (#4), A18-49: 1.2/ 4 (#4)

NBC – Law & Order: SVU
Viewers: 7.58 million (#3), A18-49: 1.7/ 5 (#3)

Fox – American Idol (season premiere)
Viewers: 11.30 million (#1), A18-49: 3.2/10 (#1)

CW – Supernatural (R)
Viewers: 984,000 (#5), A18-49: 0.3/ 1 (#5)


9:30 p.m.

ABC – black-ish
Viewers: 6.35 million (#3), A18-49: 2.1/ 6 (#2)

CBS – 2016 People’s Choice Awards
Viewers: 5.73 million (#4), A18-49: 1.3/ 4 (#4)

NBC – Law & Order: SVU
Viewers: 8.10 million (#2), A18-49: 1.8/ 6 (#3)

Fox – American Idol (season premiere)
Viewers: 10.73 million (#1), A18-49: 3.0/ 9 (#1)

CW – Supernatural (R)
Viewers: 887,000 (#5), A18-49: 0.3/ 1 (#5)


10:00 p.m.

ABC – American Crime (season premiere)
Viewers: 4.92 million (#3), A18-49: 1.3/ 4 (#3)

CBS – 2016 People’s Choice Awards
Viewers: 6.55 million (#2), A18-49: 1.5/ 5 (#2)

NBC – Chicago PD
Viewers: 8.51 million (#1), A18-49: 1.8/ 6 (#1)


10:30 p.m.

ABC – American Crime (season premiere)
Viewers: 4.52 million (#3), A18-49: 1.2/ 4 (#3)

CBS – 2016 People’s Choice Awards
Viewers: 5.64 million (#2), A18-49: 1.3/ 5 (#2)

NBC – Chicago PD
Viewers: 8.81 million (#1), A18-49: 1.9/ 7 (#1)

Source: Nielsen Media Research

Written by Marc Berman

Marc Berman

Marc Berman has been writing professionally since 1999 and is the author of the “Mr. Television” for Campaign US ( Most recently, Berman was the creator and Editor-in-Chief of website and newsletter TV Media Insights for Cross MediaWorks. From 1999-2011, he was the Senior Editor for Mediaweek and has also written for The New York Daily News, Variety, The Hollywood Reporter and Emmy Magazine, among others. Berman has also appeared on “Entertainment Tonight,” “Extra,” “Access Hollywood,” “Inside Edition,” “The CBS Evening News,” E!, CNN, CNBC, Fox News and MSNBC.

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  1. FROM ABCABC Wednesday Prime (8-11pm – 6.4 million and 1.9/6 in AD18-49): With its Wednesday comedies returning to originals for the first time 4 weeks (since 12/9/15) and the Season 2 premiere of American Crime, ABC ran a strong second on Wednesday in Adults 18-49 (1.9/6) to the 2-hour final season premiere of American Idol on Fox. ABC was up from its most recent Wednesday of originals by 12% in Adults 18-49, matching a best-since-premiere number on the night with regular programming – since 9/23/15.

    Each of ABC’s comedies ranked as the #1 scripted shows in their respective half-hours with Adults 18-49 and grew from their most-recent telecasts. In addition, The Middle and The Goldbergs beat CBS’ comedy premieres in the 8pm hour by 5-tenths of a rating point (2.1/7 vs. 1.6/5 – 2 Broke Girls/Mike and Molly).

    The Middle: Adults 18-49 (+5% – 2.1/7 vs. 2.0/7) – matching its 2nd-highest rating this season

    The Goldbergs: Adults 18-49 (+5% – 2.1/7 vs. 2.0/7) – best since 11/18/15

    Modern Family: Adults 18-49 (+4% – 2.7/9 vs. 2.6/9) – best since 11/18/15

    black-ish: Adults 18-49 (+24% – 2.1/6 vs. 1.7/5) – best-since-premiere numbers – since 9/23/15.

    Please Note: American Crime premiered in its new Wednesday 10pm time period this season. The critically acclaimed ABC drama’sfirst season was on Thursday at 10pm, where it had the advantage of following all originals of ABC hits Grey’s and Scandal.

    American Crime (10-11pm – 4.7 million and 1.2/4 in AD18-49): On its new night, the second season premiere of American Crime wasup sharply from its Thursday finale out of the Scandal closer last season in Total Viewers (+12% – 4.7 million vs. 4.2 million), Adults 18-49 (+20% – 1.2/4 vs. 1.0/3) and Adults 25-54 (+33% – 1.6/5 vs. 1.2/4). Despite the move, American Crime topped its final 7 telecasts of Season 1 across all 3 measures – since 3/26/15.

    · The American Crime premiere matched season highs for ABC in Wednesday’s 10pm hour with a series among Adults 18-49 and Adults 25-54.

    · TV Playback: During its first season, American Crime gained 2.0 million viewers and rose 46% in Adults 18-49 from L+SD to L7.

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    • With freshman series CHICAGO MED and BLINDSPOT doing well, I think the days are numbered for LAURA. Only chance it may have would be a 10 – 13 episode run in the spring, on Sunday nights.

      • Blindspot is only “doing well” thanks to its lead-in and even with that isn’t even really doing well or even solid.

        The complete disasters that littered the schedule the past two years shouldn’t lower the bat that much…

    • I wouldn’t be all too surprised if it survives, but I don’t think it will. With Blindspot, Blacklist, CFire and CPD already renewed with CMed not too far behind, there’s limited open drama space for next fall. SVU will likely live another day and Thursdays 8&10 questionable still and Fridays who knows. That doesn’t leave a lot of room for something new plus MOL, and I can see NBC wanting to try to strengthen Weds @8 next year.

      • How do you see NBC as “picking up steam”?

        To me this season looks like a replica of last season: The Voice doing good, then OK and boosting the ratings of a couple of new shows behind it, but nothing that is really doing well.

    • It wouldn’t surprise me if they picked it up for 13 more episodes either for Fridays or for midseason. It’s consistent for sure, but should be a bit higher.

  2. Blackish up not having to go against Empire
    American Crime was in line with last season right? Not bad for a show with a darker tone than the rest of the lineup leading into it.
    Chicago crossover helped boost CPD it seems and maybe SVU unintentionally.
    Not a bad start for the final season of Idol. FOX must be happy to see anything above a 1.5 on its schedule aside from Empire!
    2BG/MM could have been worse and should be fine for the few weeks its in this timeslot

    • I have to object. 😉

      Being in line with flop-level ratings is indeed out and out “bad”.

      FOX is doing so poorly, they may have to crawl and get more AI just so they don’t have to show more of their 2 million viewers specials… 🙁

  3. Clay Aiken was on twitter last night bashing American Idol and it was pretty hilarious. He was saying the judges are horrible and having a root canal don is more entertaining than the show and how no wonder the ratings are down Lol

  4. I hope Mysteries of Laura hangs around despite the low demo numbers. A Friday or Sunday option seems plausible. I really like the show and wish more watched.

    American Horror Story was great last night. The season got off to a shaky start but halfway in it really hit its stride. The finale is next week. As it stands, Coven will still be the highest rated season.

  5. You’re being very kind, Marc, by saying American Crime’s return is “disappointing”. I never thought it’d do any better than last season.

    It remains a mystery to me why the networks keep thinking that a second year of a flop will transform it into a hit…

      • But I DO trust you, Marc. 🙂

        It actually makes 100% sense to me as the only reason for renewing it had nothing to do with its ratings.

        Like New Girl, the renewal was the now-sadly-usual mix of internal politics and handing over contracts to favored individuals and companies.