The eagerly anticipated return of TV icons Robin Williams and Michael J. Fox to broadcast prime time turned out to be a one-sided affair Thursday night, as CBS’s "The Crazy Ones," starring Williams, dished out a beatdown in its head-to-head clash with NBC’s "Michael J. Fox Show," based on Nielsen overnights.
TVbytheNumbers.com reports that "The Crazy Ones" delivered a solid 4.0 preliminary average rating in the key 18-49 demo — almost twice the 2.1 turned in by "Michael." The disparity was even greater in total viewers, where "Crazy Ones" more than doubled "Michael" — 15.60 million to 7.30 million.
Both shows premiered at 9 p.m., with "Crazy Ones" running 30 minutes to "Michael’s" 60 minutes. And "Crazy Ones" had the benefit of leading out from the top show of the night, CBS’s one-hour season premiere of "The Big Bang Theory," which brought in a whopping 18.90 million total viewers and a 5.6 average rating in viewers 18-49. "Big Bang" was up significantly from a 5.0 for last year’s premiere.
Leading out from the new Robin Williams sitcom, CBS’s premiere of "Two and a Half Men" was off the pace from last year’s premiere, losing six-tenths of a point to settle for a 2.9 in the 18-49 demo. CBS’s "Elementary" premiere fell even harder, losing a full point from a year ago to come in with a 2.1.
The "Michael J. Fox" premiere was the top-rated show of the night for NBC, which saw the one-hour season premiere of "Parks and Recreation" kick off prime time with a soft 1.3 in 18-49, off four-tenths from last year’s premiere. "Parenthood’s" season premiere tied the show’s all-time low with a 1.6 average, off three-tenths from last year’s premiere.
ABC celebrated Tuesday’s big launch of its flagship new drama, "Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.," by re-airing the pilot at 8 p.m., but this time around it generated only a 1.4 average among viewers 18-49. (Tuesday’s preliminary number was a 4.6.) The rest of ABC’s prime time was filled with the two-hour season premiere of "Grey’s Anatomy," which fell short of last year’s premiere by a full point, delivering a 3.4 average.
Fox rolled out the season premiere of "Glee," which was well off the pace of last year’s premiere. The latest episode managed only a 2.0 in the 18-49 demo, down from a 3.1 a year ago. "The X Factor," which was already up and running for the new season, matched last week’s 2.0.
CBS cruised to a comfortable win in adults 18-49 for prime time overall, and a dominant win in total viewers. In the demo, CBS’s 3.7 average rating led the way, followed by ABC (2.7 average), Fox (2.0), NBC (1.7) and Univision (1.5). CBS’s average of 14.2 million total viewers for prime time left the other broadcast nets in the dust, with ABC (7.9 million) a distant second, followed by Fox (5.8 million), NBC (5.3 million) and Univision (3.7 million).