Trio of Midseason Thursday Night Newbies Continue to Struggle

ABC and CBS Share Top-Rated Thursday Night Overnight Honors


Household Rating/Share
ABC and CBS: 4.7/ 8 each, NBC: 3.1/ 5, Fox: 2.3/ 4, CW: 1.0/ 2

-Percent Change from the Year-Ago Evening:
NBC: – 9, ABC: -11, CBS: -15, CW: -23, Fox: -62

-Ratings Breakdown:
One look at the network overnight results and the immediate observation on this second Thursday in January is erosion. Minus “American Idol,” which is already in talks to return on NBC, Fox lost the most stream – 62 percent in households – with its pairing of the season-premiere of “MasterChef Junior” (#3: 2.9 rating/5 share) and failing “My Kitchen Rules” (#4: 1.8/ 3) from 8-10 p.m. Comparably, “MasterChef Junior” was on par with the week-ago season-finale of “Hell’s Kitchen.”

In week two news, NBC sitcom “Powerless” (#4: 1.7/ 3 at 8:30 p.m.) dropped by19 percent from the already anemic 2.1/ 3 in the household overnights one week earlier, which translated into just 3.10 million viewers and a 1.1 rating/4 share in adults 18-49 (based on the Live + Same Day data). Overnight retention for “Powerless” out of “Superstore” (#4: 2.4/ 4 at 8 p.m.) was also lacking at 71 percent.

Also in week two news was CBS action/adventure “Training Day,” based on the theatrical of the same name, with a third-place 2.9/ 8 in the household overnights at 10 p.m. While that was equal to its week-ago opener, it only translated into just 4.73 million viewers and a 0.9/ 3 in adults 18-49, also based on the Live + Same Day data. Tick, tock…the cancellation clock is ticking on both “Powerless” and “Training Day.”

First in the 10 p.m. hour was ABC’s fading “How to Get Away With Murder” at a 3.6/ 7, which year-to-year dipped by 16 percent. Also deteriorating, and in the No. 2 spot, was NBC’s competing “The Blacklist” at a 3.2/ 6, which was down by 14 percent from year-ago time period occupant “Shades of Blue.”

Tops for the night, of course, was “The Big Bang Theory” on CBS, with a 9.0/15 in the 8 p.m. half-hour. But a second-place 4.6/ 7 for “The Great Indoors” at 8:30 p.m. is too much of a loss, and the expected renewals of sitcoms “Kevin Can Wait” and “Man With a Plan” means a second season of “The Great Indoors” in unlikely.

Next on the Eye net was reliable “Mom” at a 4.9/ 8 (#1) in the 9 p.m. half-hour, followed by sophomore “Life in Pieces” at a 4.0/ 6 (#2t) at 9:30 p.m. Personally, I would like “Life in Pieces” better if this comedy was not in…um…pieces.

On ABC, veteran “Grey’s Anatomy” remains the network’s highest rated Thursday night option with a 5.9/ 9 at 8 p.m. And it led into an also dominant 4.8/ 8 for “Scandal” at 9 p.m., which is a vast improvement from recent time period occupant “Notorious.”

At 9 p.m. on NBC was drama “Chicago Med” at a third-place 3.9/ 6, which built from lowly lead-in “Powerless” by a significant 129 percent.

Capping off the night was The CW’s combination of “Supernatural” (#5: 1.2/ 2 at 8 p.m.) and recently introduced “Riverdale” (#5: 0.9/ 1), which was only equal to year-ago time period occupant “The 100.”

What follows is the breakdown by half-hour for Thursday, February 9:

8:00 p.m.
ABC – “Grey’s Anatomy”: 5.9/ 9 (#2)
CBS – “The Big Bang Theory”: 9.0/15 (#1)
NBC – “Superstore”: 2.4/ 4 (#4)
Fox – “MasterChef Junior” (season premiere): 2.8/ 5 (#3)
CW – “Supernatural”: 1.2/ 2 (#5)

8:30 p.m.
ABC – “Grey’s Anatomy”: 5.9/ 9 (#1)
CBS – “The Great Indoors”: 4.6/ 7 (#2)
NBC – “Powerless”: 1.7/ 3 (#4)
Fox – “MasterChef Junior” (season premiere): 3.0/ 5 (#3)
CW – “Supernatural”: 1.1/ 2 (#5)

9:00 p.m.
ABC – “Scandal”: 4.8/ 8 (#2)
CBS – “Mom”: 4.9/ 8 (#1)
NBC – “Chicago Med”: 3.8/ 6 (#3)
Fox – “My Kitchen Rules”: 1.8/ 3 (#4)
CW – “Riverdale”: 0.9/ 1 (#5)

9:30 p.m.
ABC – “Scandal”: 4.6/ 7 (#1)
CBS – “Life in Pieces”: 4.0/ 6 (#2t)
NBC – “Chicago Med”: 4.0/ 6 (#2t)
Fox – “My Kitchen Rules”: 1.7/ 3 (#4)
CW – “Riverdale”: 0.8/ 1 (#5)

10:00 p.m.
ABC – “How to Get Away With Murder”: 3.7/ 6 (#1)
CBS – “Training Day”: 2.9/ 5 (#3)
NBC – “The Blacklist”: 3.3.3/ 6 (#2)

10:30 p.m.
ABC – “How to Get Away With Murder”: 3.5/ 7 (#1)
CBS – “Training Day”: 2.8/ 5 (#3)
NBC – “The Blacklist”: 3.1/ 6 (#2)

Source: Nielsen Media Research

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  1. Wonder why networks have historically had such a hard time finding compatibility out of their big hit sitcoms…NBC never found anything out of Friends or Seinfeld…now CBS can’t with TBBT. I think there were also struggles out of Roseanne. Cosby had luck with its spinoff A Different World.
    Disappointed, and a bit surprised, at Riverdale’s ratings.

    • Simply, I think its the quality of the shows. I remember how quickly NBC’s Friends exploded out of Mad About You or Roseanne out of Who’s the Boss? A show like The Great Outdoors is just lacking in appeal, as are so many of these comedies.

      • it just makes me wonder how something like The Great Indoors gets green-lighted. It obviously passed some kind of litmus test.

    • Actually Frasier did help launch Scrubs (which I am now enjoying on Netflix). I believe Just Shoot Me also launched out of the Thursday hits. But a TON of flops too.

      CBS has really put garbage behind TBBT other than Mom for a short period of time.

      • I had forgotten about Scrubs out of Frasier. And there are probably other examples, but you are right – so many bombs out of TBBT. I still think that that Friends With Better Lives had a good shot at success. Not sure if it ever aired out of TBBT but I think it did?
        There were some dogs out of Friends and Seinfeld, I remember. Single Guy was one…and there was one called Boston Common, I think, that was horrific.

        • I agree that quality plays a part sometimes but I think more than anything compatibility can be a real big factor like Man with a Plan really fits in well with Kevin Can Wait that’s probably the best new comedy duo I’ve seen in a very long-time where both comedies are new and not with big lead-ins to help them and they fit because they’re similar comedies. There have been a number of comedies to me which were good that didn’t work behind big lead-ins so I think compatibility is a bigger reason more than anything.

          • Quality is EVERYTHING.

            NBC failed to find quality shows to replace Friends, Seinfeld and Frasier and look where they are now.

            The best programming genius can only do so much with bad shows people won’t watch.

        • Friends with Better Lives was another case of CBS playing in house favorites. That’s a show that could’ve flourished. The short first season was hilarious and it was even growing out of its repeat lead ins that following summer so CBS just up and pulled it to avoid anymore embarrassment.

  2. Riverdale: could be better, could be worse. I bet it gets to year two.

    A smart Fox decision would be to just rest all Ramsey shows next season.

    • Fox is in such a dire situation worse than NBC was 5 years ago I doubt they will rest any of the Ramsay shows

      • NBC should keep Bob Greenblatt, but hire someone paid to do the opposite of what Greenblatt says to do…

  3. If anybody can’t understand why NBC wants Idol and Will & Grace back just look at Powerless and Superstore’s low sad ass ratings. What network executive wouldn’t want to bring a bigger audience in? Idol and Will & Grace together can probably help NBC’s comedy roster get back on its feet. Poor Chicago Med doing so much heavy lifting behind garbage lead-ins.

    CBS should’ve kept Superior Donuts behind BBT and Life in Pieces is such a bad show I agree with you Marc I really wish it wouldn’t comeback next season but Sheldon might save it unfortunately. Superior Donuts might actually kill The Great Indoors. I feel bad for Mom because it’s on an island all by itself.