While this Monday is seen as the official start of the new fall season, ABC decided to join FOX and get a little jump on their rivals by debuting a trio of shows early. Last night the alphabet network gave three of their series a head start on their competition but didn't exactly see the return they had to have been hoping for!
On the positive side, “Shark Tank” proved it still had bite as Friday’s premiere earned 6.7 million viewers and a 1.7 in the key 18-49 demo category. Loosely translated, that’s slightly down from last season’s opener in the demo, but slightly up in viewers, which is a series high for any of “Tank’s” previous premieres. The twist though is going to be next week when CBS moves “Hawaii Five-0” into the neighborhood. Last season “Hawaii” normally pulled in 10 million viewers and over a 2.0 in the demo, so it is possible blood really will be in the water.
However ABC already saw bleeding with its hour of comedies that led into “Shark Tank” as Tim Allen’s “Last Man Standing” pulled in 6.6 million viewers with a 1.5 in the demo. In total that represents a 17 percent slip in viewers and a 25 percent slip in the demo from its second season premiere (which was also on a Friday night). The numbers are also down from its March season two finale.
“Standing’s” timeslot partner “The Neighbors” also took a hit in its second season bow with 4.6 million views and a 1.2 demo rating. The critically maligned series which shockingly earned a sophomore run was down 16 percent in viewers and 20 percent in the demo from its season one capper.
While also down from its series premiere, it’s not really fair to compare those numbers as series debuts are almost always higher and this one in particular had “Modern Family” as its lead-in. It worth noting though that Reba McEntire’s now cancelled “Malibu Country” did put up stronger numbers in that slot last year and its finale earned 7 million viewers and 1.4 in the demo.
The battle gets messier next week when “Undercover Boss,” “MasterChef: Juniors” and perennial ratings winner “Blue Bloods” kick off their new seasons.