NBC had a dominant Tuesday night in the ratings, with much of its prime-time success driven by the season two premiere of its breakout drama series “This Is Us.”
The 9 p.m. NBC drama was the top show of the night on the broadcast nets in the key 18-49 demo, based on Nielsen Live+Same Day data, delivering a 3.8 average rating. The closest competition was also on NBC, where “The Voice,” airing at 8 p.m., pulled a 2.6.
NBC also had the third-highest-rated show of the night, with the premiere of “Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders” delivering a 1.7 average at 10 p.m. That was just a tick better than the highest-rated non-NBC show, CBS’s season premiere of “NCIS,” which managed a 1.6 against “The Voice” at 8 p.m.
The 9 p.m. time slot competition for “This Is Us” fell well short, with CBS’s season premiere of “Bull” settling for a 1.2 in the 18-49 demo. ABC’s two-hour “Dancing with the Stars” (9-11 p.m.) also came in with a 1.2 average rating.
CBS’s 10 p.m. premiere of “NCIS: New Orleans” settled for a 1.0 in the key demo against NBC’s “Menendez” premiere and the second hour of ABC’s “Dancing.”
Total viewers was a different story, with CBS knocking out its usual big numbers all night. “NCIS” finished as the No. 1 show of the night in total viewers with 13.13 million, a little better than the 12.64 million who showed up for “This Is Us.” NBC’s “The Voice” also eased its way into double figures with 10.62 million, while CBS’s “Bull” had 9.93 million and “NCIS: New Orleans” delivered a respectable 8.7 million at 10 p.m.
NBC was pretty excited this morning about its prime-time performance, sending out a press release noting that the 3.8 demo rating for “This Is Us” topped the show’s previous best of 3.4 for the season one finale and was 36% ahead of the season one premiere, while the “Menendez” premiere outrated the “NCIS: New Orleans” premiere by 70% in the demo.
NBC also noted that it swept six of six half-hours in the 18-49 demo and topped the combined results for the No. 2 and No. 3 networks in prime time, something that hadn’t happened on a premiere week Tuesday since 1987.