Broadcast Networks Fare Well on Opening Night–With One Big Exception

Sep 21, 2010  •  Post A Comment

The broadcast networks had their big guns blazing Monday for opening night of the fall season, with important new shows premiering on CBS, NBC and Fox. But it was a returning reality competition from ABC that was the evening’s big winner, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Meanwhile, Fox got mostly bad news, as its acclaimed new series “Lone Star” did even worse than predicted, the story reports.

ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars” was the night’s top show on broadcast with 21.0 million total viewers and a 5.0 rating in the 18-49 demo, up 22% from last fall’s premiere, according to Nielsen overnight ratings.

CBS’s great expectations for its new “Hawaii Five-0” weren’t quite met, but the show did open strong with 13.8 million total viewers and a 3.8 rating in the demo. “Five-0” easily won the 10 p.m. hour but was off slightly in the demo from its lead-in, “Mike & Molly,” which had a 3.9 demo rating. Perhaps more ominously, “Five-0” fell a bit from the first half-hour to the second. CBS’s returning comedies fared well, led by “Two and a Half Men” with a 4.8 rating in the 18-49 demo, according to TVbytheNumbers.com.

Over at NBC the news was mostly good, as “The Event” delivered better-than-expected numbers: 11.2 million viewers and a 3.7 rating in the demo. But it was followed by a modest premiere for the Jerry Bruckheimer thriller “Chase,” which pulled in 7.9 million overall viewers and a 2.5 demo rating, finishing third in the 10 p.m. hour behind CBS’s “Hawaii Five-0” and ABC’s returning “Castle.”

Fox did have the highest-rated drama of the night in “House,” with 10.5 million total viewers and a 4.1 rating in the demo, but that was down substantially from last year’s premiere, which had a 6.7 in the demo, THR reported. Still, a bigger story line for the network was what happened after “House,” as “Lone Star” was off a whopping 68% from its lead-in with 4.1 million overall viewers and a disappointing 1.3 rating in 18-49.

ABC won the night overall, with CBS second, NBC third, Fox fourth and CW fifth, TVbytheNumbers.com reported.

The broadcast nets were down overall by an average of 20% from last fall’s opening night, THR, reported, but that was mostly attributable to a 60% drop for Fox. ABC was up 20% and NBC up 12%, with CBS slipping 7%, the story reports.


  1. The Event got the viewers this week. But I wonder about next week. It seemed to have many of the flaws of Flash Forward. No strong hero character was introduced that the audience could identify with. Where was their Jack Shepard that captured Lost fans immediately? The time flashbacks were confusing and not always clear whether you were in present or past. Almost everyone seemed to be of bad moral character in some manner. Too many plot lines were introduced at once without any providing enough development to generate interest.
    Fox erred in going head-to-head with Lone Star and being out-promoted by NBC. Lone Star was more engaging, but will likely not get a second chance by viewers who will return to CBS and ESPN if The Event fails next week.

  2. “House” was stellar as always and “Lone Star” was an enjoyable effort. I wonder how much of a hit all the shows took from the thrilling game on ESPN? I expect that both Fox shows will do much better once the DVR viewings are counted.

  3. I watched The Event live – it was not very engaging. I dvr’d Lone Star because of the great reviews and I found it to be the far more enjoyable of the two. I hope they give Lone Star a chance to pick up viewers – how about better promotion?! Fox acted like amateurs in promoting this thing and it’s one of the best new shows from what I’ve seen so far.

  4. Great blog, appreciate the effort put into this post! Thanks! 😀

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