Hostages, We Are Men on the Ropes

CBS newcomers slump as NBC dominates Monday night

NBC once again coasted to an effortless victory Monday night, as The Voice-Blacklist battery thumped the broadcast competition.

According to Nielsen live-plus-same-day data, the season’s fifth installment of The Voice delivered 14.6 million viewers and a 4.6 in the adults 18-49 demo, slipping one-tenth of a ratings point versus last week’s broadcast. At 10 p.m., The Blacklist continued its winning ways, scaring up 11.2 million total viewers and a 3.1 in the demo, down 6 percent from the 3.3 it delivered a week ago.

This marks the third consecutive Monday night sweep for NBC, which dominated the field with an average draw of 12.9 million viewers and a 3.9 rating. The Peacock took every significant demographic, including adults 25-54 (5.1), women 18-49 (5.0) and men 18-49 (3.1).

As NBC took another victory lap, things were decidedly less celebratory at CBS. The network finished third among the Big Four in the 18-49 demo (2.1) and last among adults 25-54 (2.4), as its Monday night comedy block and new serialized drama Hostages demonstrated further erosion.

Leading off the night at 8 p.m., the outgoing comedy How I Met Your Mother slipped one-tenth of a point to a 3.0 rating, while freshman lead-out We Are Men fell another 10 percent to a shaky 1.8. By way of comparison, the year-ago time slot occupant, Partners, lasted six weeks before it dropped south of a 2.0 rating, whereupon CBS pulled the plug. Look for Mike & Molly to fill the 8:30 p.m. gap after We Are Men is inevitably yanked from the schedule.

At 9 p.m., 2 Broke Girls notched a 2.3 rating, while newcomer Mom dipped a tenth to a 2.1, down 25 percent from Mike & Molly’s year-ago 2.8 rating.

Compounding CBS’ troubles is Hostages, which stumbled another three-tenths of a point to a 1.2 rating, which in itself was barely good enough to beat the series premiere of Univision’s Mentir Para Vivir (1.0). Hostages’ overall deliveries marked a 39 percent drop versus the year-ago installment of Hawaii Five-0.

To put Hostages’ woes into context, the canceled series Golden Boy notched its series-low 1.2 rating in its final two episodes. Even a 50 percent lift in DVR deliveries would only bring last night’s Hostages up to a sub-par 1.8 rating; as such, it’s becoming harder to imagine how the show’s entire 13-episode arc will play out—barring a slot swap with Hawaii Five-0 (Friday, 9 p.m.).

Elsewhere, Fox finished second in the demo as Bones and Sleepy Hollow experienced some slippage. The veteran medical-procedural hybrid delivered a 2.1 in the dollar demo, down a hair from the previous week, while the recently renewed Sleepy averaged a 2.8 rating, down 7 percent.

Fox projects that Sleepy will rise as high as a 4.4 upon application of three days of DVR viewing; in any case, the show remains Fox’s biggest new fall drama series since 24 bowed in November 2001.

Sleepy is now being used to promote the upcoming J.J. Abrams genre mashup, Almost Human, which premieres Nov. 4 in the slot now occupied by Bones.

Because of NFL pre-emptions on the ABC affiliate in Atlanta, the preliminary ratings for Dancing With the Stars and Castle were somewhat inflated. That said, per the L+SD numbers, DWTS averaged 13 million viewers and a 2.0 in the demo, flat versus a week ago, while Castle slipped 14 percent to a 1.9 rating.

Meanwhile, the CW continued to roll out its 2013-14 lineup, bowing Hart of Dixie to 1.03 million viewers and a 0.4 rating among adults 18-34, while Beauty and the Beast returned to approximately 860,000 viewers and a 0.3. Hart of Dixie was down three-tenths of a point from its year-ago premiere, while Beauty plummeted an alarming 73 percent from its series premiere (a 1.1 on Oct. 11, 2012).

Both Hart and Beauty were off two-tenths of a point from their respective year-ago seasonal averages. Naturally, both series will see a significant lift upon application of the relevant time-shifted data, be it via DVR, VOD or streaming.

Through Oct. 6, NBC is in first place among the adults 18-49 demo, up 4 percent versus the year-ago period with a 2.9 rating. CBS is in second, flat with a 2.4; ABC is up 4 percent to a 2.2; and Fox is down 16 percent to a 2.0. 

CBS leads all comers in total viewers (10.6 million), followed by NBC (9.22 million), ABC (7.68 million) and Fox (5.42 million). The most-watched network is also tops among the adults 25-54 demo, flat versus the year-ago period with a 3.2 rating.