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NBC delivers biggest premiere-week win for any net in 16 years

by jmaloni

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Wed, Oct 2nd 2013 01:30 pm

With its highest premiere-week 18-49 rating in five years, NBC tops No. 2 ABC by a 35 percent margin, the biggest week-one advantage since 1997

"Sunday Night Football" is the No. 1 primetime telecast of the week in 18-49 and Total Viewers

NBC has finished No. 1 in adults 18-49 and all other key demographics among ABC, CBS, NBC and FOX for premiere week of the 2013-14 primetime television season, jumping 7 percent versus the year-ago week to claim the network's highest premiere-week rating since 2008. According to "live plus same day" viewing figures from Nielsen Media Research, NBC averaged a 3.1 rating, 9 share in adults 18-49, and 9.7 million viewers overall for the week. NBC has now won premiere week two years in a row with year-to-year gains both years.

NBC's 35 percent margin of victory for the week over No. 2 ABC (3.1 vs. 2.3) is the biggest premiere-week win for any network in 16 years, since NBC's 43 percent advantage in 1997. NBC's margin is up substantially from the network's year-ago advantage of 12 percent (2.9 vs. 2.6 for No. 2 Fox).

This dominant NBC win comes on the heels of the network's No. 2 finish for the 2012-13 broadcast year in 18-49, which marked the first time NBC has finished the year ahead of FOX or ABC without Olympic or Super Bowl help since 2002-03.

In total viewers, NBC finished premiere week in second place, its highest premiere-week rank in nine years (since 2004). NBC's average of 9.7 million viewers is its biggest overall audience for a premiere week in six years (since 2007).

NBC won the week among ABC, CBS, NBC and FOX in every key demographic - adults, men and women 18-34, 18-49 and 25-54.

NBC's "Sunday Night Football" is premiere week's No. 1 primetime telecast in adults 18-49, total viewers, adults 18-34, adults 25-54 and all key adult-male demos. The Monday and Tuesday debuts of "The Voice" tied for No. 1 on those networks in women 18-34 and the Tuesday edition was No. 1 among kids 2-11 (excluding sports pre- and post-game shows).

NBC's top-rated programs of the week in adults 18-49 included: "Sunday Night Football" (No. 1), Monday's "Voice" (No. 4), Tuesday's "Voice" (tied for No. 5), Monday's "The Blacklist" (No. 9), Tuesday's "Chicago Fire" (tied for No. 20) and Wednesday's "Law & Order: SVU" (tied for No. 20). Rankings exclude sports pre- and post-game shows.

NBC'S FIRST MONDAY-TUESDAY WEEK-ONE WINS IN 25 YEARS: NBC won both Monday and Tuesday of premiere week in 18-49 for the first time since 1988.

•NBC's Monday margin of victory (74 percent in 18-49) is the biggest for any net on the Monday of premiere week in the history of people meters (back to September 1987).

•NBC's Tuesday advantage (38 percent in 18-49) is the biggest Tuesday premiere-week win for any net in six years.

FIRST NET IN 19 YEARS TO DELIVER WEEK-ONE MONDAY-THURSDAY GAINS: NBC is the first "Big 4" network in 19 years to deliver gains on each of the first four nights of the new season versus the prior year in both 18-49 and total viewers.

Primetime averages for the week of Sept. 23-29 in adults 18-49 are: NBC, 3.1/9; ABC, 2.3/7; CBS, 2.2/7; FOX, 2.2/7; and CW, 0.3/1. In overall total viewers, the weekly averages were: CBS, 10.4 million; NBC, 9.7 million; ABC, 8.0 million; FOX, 6.0 million; and CW, 0.8 million.

NBC highlights for the week of Sept. 23-29:

Monday: NBC won the opening night of the 2013-14 television season among ABC, CBS, NBC and FOX in all key categories, winning six of six half-hours in 18-49 and total viewers among those nets. NBC led the night among the "Big 4" by a 74 percent margin in 18-49 (4.7 vs. 2.7 for No. 2 CBS), up from a 46 percent margin on premiere Monday last year, for the biggest lead for any network on a premiere-week Monday in the history of people meters. Versus the year-ago night, NBC was up 15 percent to its top-rated premiere-week Monday in six years.

The season premiere of "The Voice" (5.1 rating, 13 share in adults 18-49, 15.0 million viewers overall from 8-10:01 p.m. ET) grew 21 percent in 18-49 rating versus the comparable year-ago debut (4.2/11 on Sept. 10, 2012), and was up 22 percent in total viewers (15.0 million vs. 12.3 million). It was the top "Voice" debut in 18-49 and total viewers since the post-Super Bowl start of the second "Voice" on Feb. 5, 2012.

The debut of "The Blacklist" (3.8/10 in adults 18-49, 12.6 million viewers overall from 10:01-11 p.m. ET) won the hour among ABC, CBS and NBC in every key ratings category, with margins of plus-73 percent versus ABC's "Castle" (3.8 vs. 2.2) and plus-111 percent versus CBS's "Hostages" (3.8 vs. 1.8). "The Blacklist" delivered the highest rating for a 10 p.m. drama in 18-49 on the "Big 4" in the past year (since "Revolution" scored a 4.1 on Sept. 17, 2012). Versus NBC's slot result during premiere week last year, "Blacklist" was up 12 percent (3.8 vs. 3.4 for week two of "Revolution"). In total viewers, "The Blacklist" is up 37 percent or 3.4 million viewers versus what "Revolution" did last year against premiere-week competition (12.6 million vs. 9.2 million).

In "live plus three day" ratings that include time-shifted viewing for three days after the live telecast, the "Blacklist" debut generated growth of nearly 4.4 million viewers or 35 percent over its 12.6 million overall viewership in "live plus same day," growing to 16.9 million persons. The increase of 4.4 million is the single largest L+3 increase for any broadcast program to date, including not only series debuts and season premieres, but all additional telecasts. In adults 18-49, "The Blacklist" grew from "L+SD" to "L+3" by 1.28 rating points or 33 percent in adults 18-49, from a 3.83 rating in L+SD to a 5.11 in L+3.

Tuesday: NBC won the night in 18-49 with a 38 percent margin over No. 2 CBS and ABC, the biggest advantage among the "Big 4" nets on a premiere Tuesday in six years (since 2007). It was NBC's first Tuesday win during premiere week since 2005, as well as NBC's top premiere Tuesday in 18-49 since 2006, and biggest in total viewers since 2002. Versus last year's premiere Tuesday, NBC is up 43 percent in 18-49 (4.0 vs. 2.8) and up 67 percent in total viewers (12.6 million vs. 7.5 million). The Tuesday victory marked the first time NBC has won the opening two nights of the season since 1988.

The Tuesday season debut of "The Voice" (4.7 rating, 13 share in adults 18-49, 14,4 million viewers overall from 8-10:01 p.m. ET) ranked No. 1 for the two-hour time period in adults 18-49, 18-34 and 25-54, with jumps versus the show's year-ago Tuesday debut of 18 percent in 18-49 rating (to a 4.7 from a 4.0) and 26 percent in total viewers (14.4 million vs. 11.4 million). "The Voice" delivered its top Tuesday debut in 18-49 since the show's series premiere on April 26, 2011 (5.1), and biggest Tuesday debut ever in total viewers, topping even that series debut.

The second season premiere of "Chicago Fire" (2.7/8 in 18-49, 8.9 million viewers overall from 10:01-11 p.m. ET) set series records in 18-49 and total viewers to win the hour in adults 18-49, adults 25-54 and other key measures. "Chicago Fire" beat its year-ago premiere by 42 percent in 18-49 rating (2.7 vs. 1.9) and by 35 percent in total viewers (9.0 million vs. 6.6 million). Versus its one prior telecast with a "Voice" lead-in, "Chicago Fire" was up 23 percent in 18-49 rating (2.7 vs. 2.2 on Nov. 7, 2012) and up 27 percent in total viewers (9.0 million vs. 7.0 million).

In "live plus three day" results, "Chicago Fire" grew by 30 percent in 18-49 versus its "live plus same day" rating, to a 3.47 from a 2.67.

Wednesday: In its first original telecast with no "Voice" lead-in, "Revolution" (1.8/6 in 18-49, 6.8 million viewers overall from 8-9 p.m. ET) finished within a tenth of a rating point of its 1.9 average for the May sweep last spring, when the show benefitted from that "Voice" lead-in. It's NBC's best rating in the time period with in-season regular programming since Jan. 11, 2012. "Revolution" beat NBC's premiere-week result in the slot the prior year by 20 percent (1.8 vs. 1.5 for comedies) and topped NBC's slot average for the 2012-13 season by 29 percent (1.8 vs. 1.4, "live plus same day," non-sports).

In total viewers, "Revolution's" 6.8 million average is up from the season-one finale by 10 percent (6.8 million vs. 6.2 million). This is the top "Revolution" in total viewers since March 25, beating each of the show's nine previous episodes.

In L+3 results, "Revolution" grew by 41 percent in 18-49 versus its L+SD rating, to a 2.56 from a 1.82.

Starting its 15th season, "Law & Order: SVU" (2.7/8 in 18-49, 9.6 million viewers overall from 9-11 p.m. ET) jumped 29 percent versus its year-ago debut in the same slot (2.7 vs. 2.1). It's the top "SVU" in 18-49 since May 18, 2011 (2.9). In total viewers, this is "SVU's" best result since Nov. 30, 2011 (9.9 million), and the show is up versus the year-ago debut in by 33 percent (9.6 million vs. 7.2 million). In adults 18-34 (2.4), it's "SVU's" high in three years (since Sept. 29, 2010, 2.5) and an increase versus the year-ago premiere of 50 percent (2.4 vs. 1.6). 

"SVU" dominated its second hour from 10-11 p.m. ET among ABC, CBS and NBC, winning among those nets in every key measure. The 18-49 margin of victory from 10-11 was 45 percent (2.9 vs. 2.0 for both ABC and CBS).

In L+3 results, "SVU" grew by 34 percent in 18-49 versus its L+SD rating (to a 3.58 from a 2.68). In total viewers, "SVU" grew 24 percent to 11.9 million, its biggest L+3 audience in more than four years (since June 2, 2009).

Versus last year's premiere-week Wednesday, NBC was up 26 percent for the night in 18-49 (2.4 vs. 1.9) and up 34 percent in total viewers (8.7 million vs. 6.5 million).

Thursday: The sixth season debut of "Parks and Recreation" (1.3/4 in 18-49, 3.3 million viewers overall from 8-9:01 p.m.) ranked No. 2 in the hour among ABC, CBS, NBC and FOX in men 18-34 and tied for No. 2 in men 18-49.

The debut of "The Michael J. Fox Show" (2.2/6 in 18-49, 7.503 million viewers overall from 9:01-10:01 p.m. ET) grew 16 percent versus NBC's year-ago rating in the slot on premiere-week Thursday (2.2 vs. 1.9) and was up 100 percent in total viewers (7.5 million vs. 3.7 million). "The Michael J. Fox Show" also improved on NBC's slot average during the 2012-13 season by 38 percent (2.2 vs. 1.6 in 18-49) and by 123 percent in total viewers (7.5 million vs. 3.4 million). In total viewers, it was NBC's top performance in the time period with regularly scheduled programming since April 28, 2011 (8.1 million for Steve Carell's exit from "The Office").

The fifth season debut of "Parenthood" (1.6/5 in 18-49, 5.1 million viewers overall from 10:01-11 p.m.) doubled NBC's premiere-week result in this slot last year in 18-49 (1.6 vs. 0.8) and was up 61 percent in total viewers (5.1 million vs. 3.1 million). Compared with NBC's averages in the time period last season, "Parenthood" grew by 60 percent in 18-49 rating (1.6 vs. 1.0, L+SD non-sports) and by 52 percent in total viewers (5.1 million vs. 3.3 million).

Versus last year's premiere-week Thursday, NBC was up 21 percent for the night in 18-49 (1.7 vs. 1.4), and up 46 percent in total viewers (5.3 million vs. 3.6 million).

Friday: The season premiere of "Dateline NBC" (1.3/4 in 18-49, 6.5 million viewers overall from 9-11 p.m. ET) tied the show's year-ago premiere rating in 18-49 (1.3 from 10-11 p.m. on Sept. 28, 2012), and was up 35 percent in total viewers (6.5 million vs. 4.8 million). Looking specifically at this year's 10 p.m. hour versus last year's 10-11 p.m. edition of "Dateline," this year's debut was up 15 percent in 18-49 rating (1.5 from 10-11 p.m. vs. 1.3) and up 42 percent in total viewers (6.8 million vs. 4.8 million).

From 8-9 p.m. ET, an encore telecast of "The Michael J. Fox Show" (0.8/3 in 18-49, 4.1 million viewers overall) generated NBC's top total-viewer result in the hour in three months and beat NBC's 2012-13 season average in the Friday 8-9 p.m. time period by 12 percent (4.1 million vs. 3.6 million, L+SD non-sports).

For the night, NBC finished within a tenth of a rating point of its year-ago premiere-week Friday average in 18-49 (1.1 vs. 1.2) and was up 32 percent in total viewers (5.7 million vs. 4.3 million).

Sunday: "Sunday Night Football" (7.6/20 in 18-49, 20.5 million viewers overall from 8:31-11:17 p.m. ET), featuring the New England Patriots at the Atlanta Falcons, out-rated that night's season premieres on ABC, CBS and FOX in 18-49 and total viewers to deliver the nightlong win to NBC in every key category and the No. 1 primetime rating of the night and the week. "Sunday Night Football" cleared 20 million viewers for a fifth consecutive telecast (including the Sept. 5 "Kickoff" Thursday game). The 20.5 million viewers is the second biggest overall audience for a "Sunday Night Football" telecast facing the opening Sunday of the primetime television season.

WEEKLY AVERAGES
Average rating, share and audience in each category

ADULTS 18-49

NBC 3.1/9, 3.9 million

ABC 2.3/7, 2.9 million

CBS 2.2/7, 2.9 million

FOX 2.2/7, 2.8 million

CW 0.3/1, 0.3 million

Each rating point equals 1.27 million viewers

ADULTS 25-54

NBC 3.7/10, 4.5 million

CBS 3.0/8, 3.7 million

ABC 2.7/7, 3.3 million

FOX 2.4/6, 2.9 million

CW 0.3/1, 0.4 million

Each rating point equals 1.20 million viewers

TOTAL VIEWERS

CBS 3.5/9, 10.4 million

NBC 3.3/9, 9.7 million

ABC 2.7/7, 8.0 million

FOX 2.0/5, 6.0 million

CW 0.3/1, 0.8 million

•Each rating point equals 2.95 million viewers.

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