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Modest Return for Fox’s ‘Gotham’; ‘The Orville’ Loses Steam

CBS Drama 'Zoo' Exits with a Whimper


Household Rating/Share
ABC: 3.4/ 6, CBS: 3.1/ 6, NBC: 2.6/ 5, Fox: 1.8/ 3, CW: 0.9/ 2

Note: Comparisons to the year-ago evening are excluded due to the start of the 2016-17 TV season.

-Ratings Breakdown:
Fox got discouraging overnight household news care of the return of “Gotham” and the time period premiere of “The Orville” following two higher rated preview episodes the past two Sundays. Despite facing repeats on the Big 3 networks, season four of “Gotham” could only muster a 2.3 rating/4 share in households (#2t) from 8-9 p.m. Comparably, that was 18 percent below the sophomore season premiere of medical drama “Rosewood” on the year-ago evening (2.8/ 5 on 9/22/16), and certainly not an improvement from its Monday overnight performance last season.

Although “The Orville” at 9 p.m. perked up to a 2.8/ 5 in the household overnights in the 9 p.m. hour, it also trailed the debut of failed year-ago time period drama “Pitch” (3.2/ 5 on 9/22/16) by 12 percent. “The Orville” also faced encore telecasts on ABC, CBS and NBC, which is all the more reason to anticipate erosion next week. Sorry Fox…this will be hard to spin.

In season (or series) finale news, CBS drama “Zoo” closed season three with a modest 1.9/ 3 at 10 p.m., which trailed a repeat of “Chicago Fire” on NBC (#1: 2.0/ 4) by five percent.

The only other original programming last night was “Penn & Teller: Fool Us” (#5: 1.0/ 2 from 8-9 p.m.) and the 9 p.m. half-hour portion of “Whose Line is it Anyway?” (#5: 0.7/ 1).
What follows is the breakdown by half-hour for Thursday, September 21:

8:00 p.m.
ABC – “Grey’s Anatomy” (R): 2.4/ 4 (#2t)
CBS – “The Big Bang Theory” (R): 4.9/ 9 (#1)
NBC – “American Ninja Warrior” (R): 2.4/ 4 (#2t)
Fox – “Gotham” (season premiere): 2.4/ 4 (#2t)
CW – “Penn & Teller: Fool Us”: 1.0/ 2 (#5)

8:30 p.m.
ABC – “Grey’s Anatomy” (R): 2.1/ 4 (#4)
CBS – “Mom” (R): 3.9/ 7 (#2)
NBC – “American Ninja Warrior” (R): 2.3/ 4 (#2t)
Fox – “Gotham” (season premiere): 2.3/ 4 (#2t)
CW – “Penn & Teller: Fool Us”: 1.1/ 2 (#5)

9:00 p.m.
ABC – “Scandal” (R): 2.0/ 3 (#4)
CBS – “The Big Bang Theory” (R): 4.0/ 7 (#1)
NBC – “American Ninja Warrior” (R): 2.1/ 3 (#3)
Fox – “The Orville” (time period premiere): 2.8/ 5 (#2)
CW – “Whose Line is it Anyway?”: 0.7/ 1 (#5)

9:30 p.m.
ABC – “Scandal” (R): 2.0/ 3 (#4)
CBS – “Mom” (R): 3.3/ 6 (#1)
NBC – “American Ninja Warrior” (R): 2.2/ 4 (#3)
Fox – “The Orville” (time period premiere): 2.9/ 5 (#2)
CW – “Whose Line is it Anyway?” (R): 0.7/ 1 (#5)

10:00 p.m.
ABC – “How to Get Away With Murder” (R): 1.6/ 3 (#3)
CBS – “Zoo” (season or series finale): 2.1/ 4 (#1)
NBC – “Chicago Fire” (R): 2.0/ 4 (#2)

10:30 p.m.
ABC – “How to Get Away With Murder” (R): 1.5/ 3 (#3)
CBS – “Zoo” (season or series finale): 1.8/ 3 (#2)
NBC – “Chicago Fire” (R): 2.1/ 4 (#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. Just as I expected Orville failed on its regular night, FOX propped it up like it had those numbers on its own. It’s gonna get killed next week when Will & Grace and Grey’s Anatomy premieres against it along with Thursday Night Football which is airing on broadcast for the first time this season.

      • [roll drums] Totally agree with you SotB!!!! [cymbal crash]

        Seriously, I do. Seth has failed to deliver for over 15 years and they keep shoving millions into his pockets…

        It is one of the most egregious wastes of money in modern Hollywood (that and CW acting like Greg Berlanti makes hits for them).

      • With the way FOX been running their operations they’ll get picked up regardless probably but Seth’s comedy Dads was cancelled in its first season so anything’s possible.

  2. Gotham and Orville premiered to about what I expected. Fox will be creamed on Thursday night when the full competition comes back. Demo wise (why are yall not showing those numbers?) both had a 1.1 in the Demo and Gotham had less total viewers than Orville.

    I believe FOX should have left the Gotham/Lucifer combo together on Monday.

    • Demo numbers are for PR spin of course. 🙂

      At this point, they’re also disastrous for most shows, but the networks have managed to make it sound that getting 1% of their supposed “target demo” is good and 2% a huge hit… 🙁

  3. Well, Gotham was flop last season so nothing new there, and Seth MacFarlane has always made flops, so again, entirely predictable.

    The question is “why is FOX continuing to self-sabotage”?