Super Tuesday was merely so-so for Fox, which last night launched a new prime-time comedy block to mixed results.
With Glee on hiatus until April 10, Fox moved Raising Hope from the plum post-New Girl slot (9:30 p.m.) to the anchor. Despite leading off the night, Raising Hope was even with its most recent episode (Feb. 21), averaging 4.74 million viewers and a 2.1 in the 18-to-49 demo.
Returning after a 10-week layover, the freshman comedy I Hate My Teenage Daughter underwhelmed, delivering a series low 3.74 million viewers and a 1.6 in the demo. That marked a loss of 2 million viewers and a 20 percent decline in the demo versus the show’s most recent airdate, Dec. 21.
On the plus side, Hate topped ABC’s Cougar Town by one-tenth of a ratings point, per Nielsen fast affiliate ratings.
Over the course of five episodes, Hate is averaging 5.36 million viewers and a 2.1 in the demo. It premiered Wednesday, Nov. 30, to 6.8 million viewers and a 2.8 rating, thanks in large part to a strong X Factor lead in.
In its first outing without a Glee lead in, New Girl remained remarkably consistent, averaging 6 million viewers at 9 p.m. Zooey Deschanel and the rest of the gang won the night with a 3.0 rating, flat versus New Girl’s most recent outing.
Rising from its deathbed, the Christian Slater comedy Breaking In returned up 31 percent in the demo, averaging a 1.7 versus the 1.3 rating it eked out on May 17, 2011. Fox originally canceled Breaking In a week before its spring finale, but it shifted gears three months later, opting for a 13-episode pickup from Sony Pictures TV.
Improvement aside, Breaking In did lose a huge chunk of New Girl’s lead in, squandering 43 percent of its guaranteed demo.
While New Girl emerged victorious among viewers 18 to 49 years of age, a repeat of CBS’s NCIS put up the biggest reach numbers, averaging 14.5 million viewers in the 8 p.m. slot. With a median age of 59 years, NCIS delivered a disproportionately low 18-to-49 rating (2.4).
Meanwhile, ABC may have found the bottom of The River. The supernatural thriller was flat versus the previous week, averaging 4.21 million viewers and a 1.5 rating.
The River debuted Feb. 7 to 7.59 million viewers and a 2.4 rating. ABC’s latest launch, the sudsy drama GCB, also failed to whip up much enthusiasm, bowing Sunday night (March 4) to 7.56 million viewers and a 2.2 rating.
The 10 p.m. hour was largely devoted to repeats, although NBC did break away from scripted fare to cover Super Tuesday polling results. NBC’s Decision 2012 drew 2.56 million viewers and an 0.8 rating, out of a weak two-hour installment of The Biggest Loser (6.03 million/2.0).
For politics, viewers stayed with the cable news outlets. Fox News Channel won the 8 to 11 p.m. block with its wall-to-wall coverage of the GOP dogfight, averaging 2.84 million viewers and 728,000 adults ages 25 to 54. CNN took second with 1.48 million viewers and 512,000 members of the core news demo, while MSNBC drew 1.36 million/381,000.