With Roseanne’s fate revealed in the series premiere of The Conners last week and the second episode facing Game 1 of the World Series, there was an inevitable Week 2 drop for the family comedy, though ABC probably hoped for a smaller decline. ABC’s lineup was the only one to post major week-to-week ratings drops from last Wednesday, when the broadcasters faced two MLB league championships games on cable, as NBC, CBS and the CW held steady with minimal declines, 100% retention and even a couple of ratings upticks.
ABC’s The Conners (1.7 in adults 18-49 Live+Same Day, 7.9 million total viewers) was down 29% in 18-49 (-26% from the fast national) and down 26% in viewers from the premiere. For comparison, the Roseanne revival was down 25% in 18-49 and just 16% in viewers between its blockbuster debut and Week 2 last spring. The Conners also relinquished the No. 1 spot for the night in the demo to NBC’s This Is Us (2.1), which was down only a tenth from last Wednesday.
The Conners still marked a time-slot improvement in the slot versus last fall when The Middle was airing its final season there, logging ABC’s best delivery in the half-hour slot over the last five years that the World Series has started a Tuesday night – since 2013.
But its declines carried over to the rest of ABC’s Tuesday series. New comedy The Kids Are Alright (1.1, 5.1 million) was down 21% in the demo from its debut last week, black-ish (0.9, 3.8 million) dipped a tenth, while sophomore Splitting Up Together (0.7, 2.9 million) and newbie The Rookie (0.8, 4.4 million) each slipped two tenths.
This is a new L+SD series low and an alarming number for romantic comedy Splitting Up Together as no Big 4 series has been able to recover from hitting the dreaded 0.7 demo mark. The Rookie‘s Week 2 18-49 delivery matched that of fellow new ABC drama A Million Little Things, though the cop dramedy starring Nathan Fillion draws more viewers in L+SD while A Million Little Things posts big delayed viewership percentage lifts. The Rookie also built onto its lead-in. ABC this week ordered three more scripts each of The Kids Are Alright, Splitting Up Together, A Million Little Things and The Rookie while the network mulls possible back episodic orders.
NBC’s The Voice (1.6, 8.3 million) slipped a tenth from its fast national last week, two tenths from the final. As we already noted, This Is Us (2.1, 8.4 million) dipped a tenth, while new medical drama New Amsterdam (1.3, 6.4 million), already picked up for a full season, is currently up a tenth in the demo from last week and has a chance of going up two tenths with a possible upward adjustment.
CBS’ drama lineup was rock solid against the World Series. NCIS (1.2, 11.1 million), FBI (1.0, 8.8 million) and NCIS: New Orleans‘ 100th episode (0.8, 7.1 million) all were even in the demo vs. last week and held onto almost the entire viewership from last Wednesday.
The CW’s The Flash (0.7, 1.8 million) also was steady in the demo while adding a few eyeballs, and Black Lightning (0.4, 1.2 million) ticked up to match its season premiere demo rating and log its largest L+SD audience for the season.
Fox is projected to win the night in 18-49 and total viewers with Game 1 of the World Series, which was on par with the opener last fall.
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