The top two networks were regular contenders, but in the No. 3 spot in Tuesday’s prime-time broadcast ratings was a network that doesn’t often rise to that level. Based on Nielsen overnights for the key 18-49 demo, TVbytheNumbers.com reports that the CW outdrew both ABC and Fox, along with Spanish-language Univision, to place third overall.
At the head of the pack, the race between CBS and NBC produced a familiar split, with NBC winning the 18-49 demo while CBS rolled to a sizable advantage in total viewers.
Pumping up the CW was the series premiere of its new superhero show “The Flash,” which delivered a 1.8 preliminary average in viewers 18-49 (later adjusted up to a 1.9). “The Flash” also pulled 4.8 million total viewers, ranking as the most-watched and highest-rated series premiere for the CW since “The Vampire Diaries” in 2009.
The CW backed it up Tuesday night with a 1.2 preliminary average in 18-49 (later adjusted down to a 1.1). for the tenth-season premiere of “Supernatural” — matching last year’s season premiere.
NBC won the 18-49 demo even with an encore of its two-hour “The Voice,” which earned a preliminary 2.4 average rating in the demo (adjusted to a 2.5). “Chicago Fire” followed with a 2.1, ticking down from a 2.3 for the premiere a week ago.
CBS’s drama lineup was mostly steady, with “NCIS” (2.6 average in 18-49) and “NCIS: New Orleans” (2.3) both matching last week’s numbers while “Person of Interest” drifted down to a 1.6, off from a 1.8. The “NCIS” franchise continued to deliver big numbers in total viewers — 17.27 million for “NCIS” and 15.39 million for “New Orleans” in final ratings.
ABC had a rough time of it in preliminary results, with some minor relief coming in the adjusted figures. “Selfie” fell a half-point from a week ago to a preliminary 1.1 in the 18-49 demo (later adjusted up to a 1.2); “Manhattan Love Story” was off six-tenths with a 0.9; “Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD” fell two-tenths to a series-low 1.6 (adjusted to a 1.7); and “Forever” was down one-tenth to a 1.3.
Fox also benefited slightly from final adjustments, with “New Girl’s” initial 1.3 average in 18-49 adjusted up to a 1.4, while “The Mindy Project” remained at a 1.0.
Comparing preliminary averages for prime time overall, NBC led the 18-49 demo with a 2.3, followed by CBS (2.2 average), CW (1.5), ABC (1.3), Univision (1.1) and Fox (1.0). CBS was well ahead in total viewers with 14.1 million, followed by NBC (8.8 million), ABC (4.4 million), CW (3.7 million), Univision (2.9 million) and Fox (2.2 million).