ABC’s decision to bundle returning hits Once Upon a Time and Revenge in its Sunday night drama block appears to have paid off, as both series premiered to strong numbers. Unfortunately, the solid 8-10 p.m. lead-in wasn’t enough to keep viewers in their seats for the debut of 666 Park Avenue.
Per Nielsen live-plus-same-day data, Once Upon a Time bowed to an average 11.4 million viewers and a 3.9 in the 18-49 demo, down slightly from the 12.9 million viewers and 4.0 rating the show drew in its Oct. 23, 2011 series premiere.
OUAT’s Season 2 opener marked an 18 percent improvement from the show’s May 13 finale (3.3).
At 9 p.m., the sudsy Revenge drew 9.74 million viewers and a 3.2 in the demo, down a tick from the 10 million viewers/3.3 rating it delivered during its year-ago series premiere. (Last fall, Revenge aired in ABC’s Wednesday 10 p.m. time slot, leading out of Happy Endings/Don’t Trust the B---- in Apt. 23.)
Despite the strength of the first two hours, ABC sagged at 10 p.m. The series premiere of the supernatural drama 666 Park Avenue scared up just 6.9 million viewers and a 2.1 in the demo, squandering 34 percent of its Revenge lead-in.
Year-ago comparisons were also rather bleak, as 666 Park was down 38 percent in total viewers and 32 percent in the dollar demo versus the Sept. 25, 2011 premiere of Pan Am (11.1 million/3.1 rating).
More than 1 million viewers tuned out between the 10-10:30 p.m. and 10:30-11 p.m. segments.
Per SQAD NetCosts data, a 30-second spot in 666 Park costs $129,000, about what clients shelled out for a unit in Pan Am.
To be sure, 666 Park faced a tough competitive set, going head-to-head with NBC’s Sunday Night Football, the season premiere of Showtime’s Emmy-winning drama Homeland and a Real Housewives of New Jersey reunion on Bravo. On the hour, a nail-biter between NFC East rivals New York Giants and Philadelphia Eagles averaged 18.5 million viewers and a 7.5 in the demo, while CBS’s The Mentalist drew 11.1 million viewers and a 2.1 rating, down 25 percent from its Season 4 premiere (2.8).
The full SNF broadcast delivered 22.8 million viewers and a 9.0 rating.