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Sunday Overnights: Solid Sampling for CBS Drama ‘Instinct;’ Modest ‘Genius Junior’ on NBC

ABC's 'American Idol' Drops 24 Percent Week-to-Week

SUNDAY, MARCH 18, 2018

Household Rating/Share
CBS: 6.5/11, ABC: 3.8/ 7, NBC: 3.3/ 6, Fox: 1.2/ 2

-Percent Change from the Year-Ago Evening:
ABC: +100, CBS: + 5, Fox: – 8, NBC: -11

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  • Ratings Breakdown:
    Note: The ongoing NCAA Basketball Tournament on CBS bled into primetime by 37-minutes. All program results for the Eye net, therefore, are estimated.

    There were two series premieres last night: CBS crime solver “Instinct,” starring Alan Cumming; and NBC game show “Genius Junior,” hosted by Neil Patrick Harris. Airing out of “60 Minutes,” “Instinct” will, of course, skew older. But with an approximate 6.3 rating/10 share in the metered market (overnight) households from 8:37-9:37 p.m. ET, “Instinct” was definitely sampled. Household retention out of “60 Minutes” (7.5/12 from 7:37-8:37 p.m. ET) was solid at 84 percent, and this was an improvement over fall time period occupant “Wisdom of the Crowd.” Overall, consider this a positive start for “Instinct” based on the household overnights.

    “Genius Junior,” meanwhile, debuted with a third-place 3.0/ 5 in the 9 p.m. hour, which held 67 percent of the its “Little Big Shots” lead-in (#2: 4.5/ 7 from 8-9 p.m.). And this was 17 percent below short-lived “Chicago Justice” on the year-ago evening (3.6/ 6 on 3/20/17), but the young adult ratings are expected to be an improvement. Since most new series drop 10 to 20 percent in week two, consider this a modest start for “Genius Junior.”

    Earlier in the evening on NBC was the third season premiere of “Little Big Shots,” which finished second in the 7 p.m. hour with a 3.8/ 7. Comparably, that beat competing “America’s Funniest Home Videos” on ABC (#3: 3.1/ 6) by 23 percent. Opposite “American Idol” on ABC, the aforementioned regularly scheduled telecast of “Little Big Shots” at 8 p.m. was down by 21 percent year-to year.

    At 10 p.m. on NBC was week two of the sophomore season of NBC drama “Timeless,” which matched last week’s modest return at a distant third-place 2.0/ 3 in households. Comparably, this was 29 percent below crime solver “Shades of Blue” on the year-ago evening (2.8/ 5 on 3/20/17).

    On ABC, aforementioned “American Idol” scored a 4.8/ 8 in the 8-10 p.m. block, which was down by a noticeable 24 percent from the 6.3/10 season-opener one week earlier. Since that 6.3 overnight household rating translated into 10.3 million viewers (based on the Live+Same Day data from Nielsen), do the math and you can expect in the vicinity of 8-million viewers for “Idol.” Comparably, this is still a vast improvement over year-ago time period occupants “Once Upon a Time” and “Time After Time.”

    In week two news on ABC was Sunday 10 p.m. drama “Deception” at a second-place 2.6/ 5, which was 30 percent below the 3.7/ 7 for the opener one week earlier. While “Deception” is an improvement over year-ago time period occupant “American Crime,” it was also 47 percent below the 4.9/ 9 for the 9:30 p.m. portion of lead-in “American Idol”

    Elsewhere, Fox finished a distant fourth in each half-hour with its Sunday line-up of two episodes of animated “Bob’s Burgers” (7 p.m. – repeat: 0.8/ 1; 7:30 p.m.: 1.1/ 2), “The Simpsons” (1.4/ 2 at 8 p.m.), “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” (1.3/ 2 at 8:30 p.m.), “Family Guy” (1.5/ 2 at 9 p.m.) and “Last Man on Earth” (1.2/ 2 at 9:30 p.m.). And CBS featured “NCIS: Los Angeles” and “Madam Secretary” following the debut of “Instinct.”

    What follows are the household overnight ratings for Sunday, March 18 broken out by half-hour:

    7:00 p.m.
    ABC – “America’s Funniest Home Videos”: 3.1/ 6 (#3)
    CBS – 2018 NCAA Basketball Tournament: 8.5/15 (#1)
    NBC – “Little Big Shots” (season premiere): 3.6 7 (#2)
    Fox – “Bob’s Burgers” (R): 0.8/ 1 (#4)

    7:30 p.m.
    ABC – “America’s Funniest Home Videos”: 3.2/ 6 (#3)
    CBS – 2018 NCAA Basketball Tournament / 60 Minutes: 7.5/13 (#1)
    NBC – “Little Big Shots” (season premiere): 3.9/ 7 (#2)
    Fox – “Bob’s Burgers”: 1.1/ 2 (#4)

    8:00 p.m.
    ABC – “American Idol”: 4.5/ 7 (#2)
    CBS – “60 Minutes”: 7.5.12 (#1)
    NBC – “Little Big Shots”: 4.4/ 7 (#3)
    Fox – “The Simpsons”: 1.4/ 2 (#4)

    8:30 p.m.
    ABC – “American Idol”: 4.5/ 7 (#2)
    CBS – “60 Minutes”: 7.5.12 (#1)
    NBC – “Little Big Shots”: 4.4/ 7 (#3)
    Fox – “The Simpsons”: 1.4/ 2 (#4)

    9:00 p.m.
    ABC – “American Idol”: 4.9/ 8 (#2)
    CBS – “Instinct” (series premiere)”: 6.3/10 (#1)
    NBC – “Genius Junior” (series premiere): 3.2/ 5 (#3)
    Fox – “Family Guy”: 1.5/ 2 (#4)

    9:30 p.m.
    ABC – “American Idol”: 4.9/ 8 (#2)
    CBS – “Instinct” (series premiere) / “NCIS: Los Angeles”: 5.9/10 (#1)
    NBC – “Genius Junior” (series premiere): 2.8/ 4 (#3)
    Fox – “Last Man on Earth”: 1.2/ 2 (#4)

    10:00 p.m.
    ABC – “Deception”: 2.8/ 5 (#3)
    CBS – “NCIS: Los Angeles”: 5.2/ 9 (#1)
    NBC – “Timeless”: 2.0/ 3 (#3)

    10:30 p.m.
    ABC – “Deception”: 2.5/ 5 (#3)
    CBS – “NCIS: Los Angeles”: 4.6/ 8 (#1)
    NBC – “Timeless”: 1.9/ 4 (#3)

    Source: Nielsen Media Research

    Written by Marc Berman

    Marc Berman

    Marc Berman has been writing professionally since 1999 and is the author of weekly column “Mr. Television” for Campaign US (www.campaignlive.com). 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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