NBC's two-hour competition series "America's Got Talent" went head-to-head with a new challenger Sunday night as ABC's new "Rising Star" had its two-hour premiere opposite the NBC show in the 9-11 p.m. block. Based on Nielsen overnights for the key 18-49 demo, "Talent" was up to the challenge, turning in the best number of the night on broadcast prime and helping NBC claim a narrow overall win for the night.
TVbytheNumbers.com reports that "America's Got Talent" delivered a 2.1 average rating in viewers 18-49 — down 19% from Tuesday's number but still the top show of the night by a comfortable margin. The new ABC competition had the night's second-best delivery in the demo, a 1.5 average — 12% below the network's most recent talent show premiere, "Duets," which rolled out two years ago.
ABC also unspooled the two-hour season premiere of "Wipeout," which equaled the 1.0 in adults 18-49 that it had for its summer 2013 premiere. NBC put up a two-hour "American Ninja Warrior" repeat against it, settling for a 0.7.
NBC and ABC finished well ahead of their big four broadcast rivals Fox and CBS, as Fox aired only one fresh program and CBS finished a distant fifth among the broadcast nets with an all-repeat lineup. Fox's series finale of "Enlisted" dropped 25% from a week ago to a series-low 0.3 average in 18-49.
For prime time overall, NBC's 1.4 average was good enough to win the 18-49 demo, topping ABC (1.3 average), Univision (1.1), Fox (0.9) and CBS (0.4). NBC also won total viewers, averaging 5.4 million to lead ABC (4.3 million), CBS (4.2 million), Univision (2.7 million) and Fox (1.9 million).