High ratings for fall TV premiere week

By: Allison Wisyanski ~Staff Writer~

Despite the plenty of alternative ways to watch television favorites, millions of people tuned in Sept. 22-28 to watch the various show premieres of the first week of fall TV. Networks feel
that live viewership can no longer be a measurement of a program’s value, but this week contradicted that theory.
According to the WHDH News, CBS, NBC and ABC had more viewers than during the 2013 fall TV week. “Maybe the networks are putting out better shows, or at least they’re putting out a better marketing strategy,” Brad Adgate, a ratings analyst for Horizon Media, said.

Five of the 20 most-watched programs during that week were brand new with three on CBS and two on ABC, the most successful shows being “Madam Secretary” on CBS and “How to Get Away With Murder” on ABC.

In fact, “How to Get Away With Murder” increased its audience from 14.3 to 20.3 million when “viewing over a three-day period” was added in.

Each network had success during this week, especially NBC, who had its “most-watched premiere week in eight years with ‘The Mysteries of Laura’ as its top new series,” NBC News said.

CBS had other hit shows such as “NCIS: New Orleans” and “Scorpion.” ABC also succeeded
with its new show “Black-ish,” a show possibly attempting to make up for the declined viewer ratings of “Modern Family,” which has been bringing the network down.

CBS won premiere week for most viewers watching7 for the sixth year in a row, averaging 10.9 million viewers, NBC followed with 10 million viewers and ABC had 8.3 million. ESPN averaged 2.91 million viewers in prime time and was the week’s most popular cable network.

Murder - hulu dot com
“How to Get Away with Murder” drew high ratings and critical acclaim mostly from Viola Davis’ (above) performance.

NBC’s “Nightly News” led the pack with an average of 8.2 million viewers, ABC’s “World News” had 8 million and the “CBS Evening News” had 6.3 million viewers.

According to NBC News, the top 10 shows during the week of Sept. 22-28 were the following: NFL Football: New Orleans at Dallas, NBC, 22.68 million viewers; “The Big Bang Theory,” CBS, 18.24 million viewers; “NCIS,” CBS, 18.23 million viewers; “Sunday Night NFL Pre- Game Show,” NBC, 17.57 million viewers; “NCIS: New Orleans,” CBS, 17.23 million viewers; NFL Football: N.Y. Giants at Washington, CBS, 16.29 million viewers.

Many who tuned in turned to DVR or lost interest in some of the shows, but this week gave networks a big boost in viewer ratings and will most likely continue to attract a fall audience.

Fall television premieres draw in viewers because of the hype and previews shown before the big week.

Network viewers have expectations of each show and excitement builds up until the night of the premiere.

However, numbers often fall after the first week when viewers drop shows that did not live up to expectations.

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