The numbers for the first official Sunday of the fall television season look relatively close to what many expected. Animation Domination on Fox averaged around a 3.0 18-49 while Sunday Night Football (8.1 18-49/20.6 million viewers) won the night in viewers and the 18-49 demographic. Intrigue persists though in regards to ABC and CBS which give us a lot to think about today.
ABC is trying to reassert its female-skewing leadership in the category of scripted dramas for the night with premieres for Once Upon a Time, Revenge, and the new kid on the block 666 Park Avenue. With a 3.8 18-49/11.01 million, the returning fairy tale series kicked things off by showing a lot of consistency with what the show did in the spring.
Putting that aside, the focus is instead on the air date shift of Revenge. The sophomore show found a 3.2 18-49/9.5 million which is noticeably better than what it did on Wednesdays one season ago, thus validating the move and solidifying the broadcaster as a real threat for Sunday evenings going forward. As for 666 Park Avenue (the only series premiere for the night,) that deflated the bubble somewhat as it only found a 2.2 18-49/6.9 million viewers. This drop-off is nothing to scoff at and will definitely be watched closely as it resides in red flag territory.
CBS had a miserable night in the 18-49 demographic. The network kicked things off with a new cycle of The Amazing Race which scored a typical 2.5 18-49/9.7 million, and that was the highlight of the night for them. Their critically-acclaimed drama The Good Wife only found a weak 18-49 rating of a 1.8 with 9.8 million tuning in while The Mentalist (one of CBS’s former anchors during the week) got destroyed with a 2.1 18-49 despite managing to scour up 10.8 million viewers.
The take away from all this is that we need to wait another seven days to see where things lie, but America’s most-watched network might need to redefine what it does on Sunday in order to compete. What works five nights a week for CBS obviously does not work here anymore.