The ratings are in for the long-awaited return of Community, and they are surprisingly north of last year’s debut with a 1.8 18-49 across 4.0 million viewers. That number is a home run for The Peacock when faced with competition from American Idol (4.1 18-49, 13.15 million) and The Big Bang Theory (6.1 18-49, 18.9 million.) Ultimately, figures were up 38% from the series’ third season finale, giving fans the sense that a corner might have been turned. Just a word of caution though, the program did achieve a similar ratings bump last year after it was brought back from hiatus which many perceived to be permanent so make of this first figure what you want. Odds are though that the story will be told in the weeks that follow.
As for the competition, I just mentioned American Idol received a 4.1 18-49 which is another heavy story coming out of the midseason ratings. The long-running competition series seems geared for another overhaul this off-season as viewership continues to dwindle following a heavily hyped 2013 return last month. Fox has a lot invested in the show’s performance with big money being paid out to Mariah Carrey and Nicki Minaj who joined the program’s most-recent run.
For the most part though, a 4.0+ in the key demo is still nothing to scoff so no one should be preparing the death certificate for AI just yet; however this is a big red flag as Fox continues to migrate towards the title of America’s least-watched core broadcaster along with ABC. These things tend to run in cycles and NBC’s turn on the bottom seems to have finally ended thanks to an investment in scripted and two-cycle years for The Voice.