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CBS Tops Tuesday Overnights, But ‘Limitless’ is Slowing the Network Down

NBC Most Improved; ABC and Fox Continue to Struggle


Household Rating/Share
CBS: 7.4 rating/12 share, NBC: 4.2/ 7, ABC: 2.0/ 3, Fox and CW: 1.8/ 3 each

Percent Change from the Year-Ago Week:
NBC: +62, CW: -14, CBS: -19, Fox: -31, ABC: -41


“NCIS” (CBS), “The Flash” (CW), “NCIS: New Orleans” (CBS), “Chicago Med” (NBC), “Chicago Fire” (NBC)

“The Muppets” (ABC), “New Girl” (Fox), “Grandfathered” (Fox), “Marvel’s Agent Carter” (ABC), “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” (Fox), “The Grinder” (Fox), “iZombie” (CW), “What Would You Do?” (ABC), “Limitless” (CBS)


Ratings Breakdown:
It was an easy Tuesday overnight victory for CBS, but not a clean sweep over improved second-place NBC. “NCIS” topped the night, as always, with a 10.4 rating/16 share in the household overnights from 8-9 p.m. And that led into a 7.7/12 for also dominant spin-off “NCIS: New Orleans” from 9-10 p.m. But freshman “Limitless,” which is not worthy of a second season renewal in this writer’s opinion, trailed competing “Chicago Fire” on NBC by 21 percent (4.1/ 7 vs. 5.3/ 9). One year earlier, former CBS Tuesday 10 p.m. occupant scored a 6.2/10 in the hour (which is all the more reason to put benchwarmer “Person of Interest” back in the time period). Comparably, retention for “Limitless” out of the 9:30 p.m. portion of “NCIS: New Orleans” (7.5/12) was only 55 percent.

Earlier in the evening on NBC was “Hollywood Game Night,” hosted by Jane Lynch, at a 2.8/ 4 from 8-9 p.m. (#2), which was 40 percent on average above two episodes of sitcom “Parks and Recreation” on the year-ago evening (2.0/ 3 on 2/10/15). Next was already renewed “Chicago Med” at a second-place 4.8/ 7 from 9-10 p.m., which built from the 8:30 p.m. portion of “Hollywood Game Night” by a hefty 71 percent.

Elsewhere, the results were slim. Freshman “The Muppets” on ABC is waiting for the pink slip to arrive at this point, with a 1.9/ 3 (#3) in the household overnights at 8:30 p.m. out of a 3.2/ 5 (#2) for sophomore “Fresh off the Boat” at 8 p.m. Also sophomore “Marvel’s Agent Carter” (#3: 1.9/ 3) is not doing a very good job temporarily filling in for “Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD” at 9 p.m. And recent returnee “What Would You Do?” remained a significant flop at a 1.6/ 3 at 10 p.m. (#3).

Fox could not compete with its slim combination of 8-10 p.m. sitcoms “New Girl” (#4: 2.2/ 3), “Grandfathered” (#4: 1.8/ 3), “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” (#4: 1.7/ 3) and “The Grinder” (#4: 1.5/ 2). And sophomore drama “iZombie” on The CW (#5: 1.0/ 1 at 9 p.m.) dropped by an extensive 62 percent from solid lead-in “The Flash” (#5: 2.6/ 4 at 8 p.m.). One year earlier, former Tuesday 9 p.m. CW occupant scored a 1.4/ 2 in the overnights in the hour.

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. NBC sure hit the bulls eye with that Chicago franchise. While they are not the astronomical ratings of yesteryear, they sure are solid players and a bit more.

    • I totally agree. I like it for fun and I think it is definitely a summer show. Maybe NBC will be strong enough next year not to waste it in winter.