How Strong Were Ratings for the Premiere of NBC’s New Drama Series? It Depends on How You Spin It

Apr 5, 2013  •  Post A Comment

A high-profile NBC drama series bowed Thursday night, and while it wasn’t exactly a ratings disaster, it wasn’t quite a juggernaut either. TVbytheNumbers.com reports that “Hannibal” delivered a 1.6 average rating in the key 18-49 demo, based on Nielsen overnights, finishing third in the 10 p.m. time slot.

The number was an improvement of 78% from the premiere of the network’s “Do No Harm,” which came up with a 0.9 in viewers 18-49 on Jan. 31, the piece points out. But it was down 20% from the 2.0 for “Awake” in its premiere just over a year ago. The “Hannibal” rating was NBC’s best result for entertainment programming in the time period since March 15, 2012, and was 60% better than the network’s average this year in the time slot.

For prime time overall, NBC placed fifth in both the 18-49 demo and total viewers, trailing not only its big 4 rivals — CBS, Fox and ABC — but also once again finishing behind Spanish-language Univision. NBC’s “Community” fell to a series low with a 1.0 in 18-49, losing 9% from its previous original. “The Office” also hit a series low, a 1.7, down 11%. “Parks and Recreation” was down 6% to a 1.5, while “Go On” made its time slot premiere at 9:30 p.m. with a 1.1, losing a hefty 42%.

CBS won the night with a 3.1 average rating in viewers 18-49 for prime time overall, followed by Fox (2.3 average), ABC (2.2), Univision (1.5) and NBC (1.4). CBS also won total viewers, averaging 13.3 million to Fox’s 7.7 million, ABC’s 6.9 million, Univision’s 3.6 million and NBC’s 3.3 million.

CBS’s “The Big Bang Theory” was the top show of the night, ticking up 2% from its previous original episode for a 4.9 in adults 18-49. “Two and a Half Men” surged 12% to a 3.8. “Person of Interest” lost 7% for a season-low 2.7, and “Elementary” equaled its series low, losing 9% for a 2.1.

ABC had 2.7 averages in 18-49 for both “Grey’s Anatomy” (down 7% from a week ago) and “Scandal” (up 4%, and No. 1 in the 10 p.m. hour). “Wife Swap” managed only a 1.2 at 8 p.m., down 14%.

Fox’s “American Idol” continued its recent soft ratings, matching its series low with a 2.8 average in viewers 18-49, equaling its week-ago number. “New Girl” had a 2.0, slipping 9% from its previous original, while “The Mindy Project” delivered a 1.4, up 8% from Tuesday’s result.


  1. How can you spin it any other way than disaster. 1.6 demo after spending millions to market (badly I might add). And this was the Premiere — it’s down hill from here.
    I guess you can keep a good cannibal down.

  2. Can you say … just another NBC failure to add to the closet full of duds????
    This “cannibal” got eaten!

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