Decent Start for Dads, Brooklyn Nine-Nine

Fox Tuesday night comedy block returns to encouraging numbers

Fox’s second stab at a two-hour Tuesday night comedy block got off to an encouraging start, as three of the four sitcoms outperformed the year-ago time slot occupants.

According to Nielsen live-plus-same-day data, the new Seth MacFarlane comedy Dads earned decent sampling at 8 p.m., drawing 5.76 million viewers and a 2.2 rating among adults 18-49. That marked a 29 percent improvement over the 1.7 rating notched by the season premiere of Raising Hope.

Building on the Dads lead-in was the new Andy Samberg comedy Brooklyn Nine-Nine, which drew 6.17 million viewers and a sturdy 2.6 in the demo—up 24 percent from the year-ago series premiere of Ben & Kate (2.1).

At 9 p.m., the Season 3 premiere of the hit New Girl delivered 5.53 million viewers and a 2.9 in the demo, up a tick from last season’s opener. For Fox, the only bump in the road came at the end of the night, as the sophomore comedy The Mindy Project drew just 3.83 million viewers and a 1.9 in the demo.

While Mindy was up sixth-tenths of a ratings point from its May 14 season finale, last night’s episode represented a drop of 21 percent versus the show’s premiere delivery (2.4).

If neither of the new comedies put up spectacular numbers—two years ago, New Girl arrived on the scene with an audience of 10.3 million live-plus-same-day viewers and a massive 4.8 rating—it’s certainly not a shabby start for Dads and Brooklyn Nine-Nine. 

For all the hand-wringing and critical opprobrium leveled against Dads, the premiere actually did a better number with women 18-49 (2.2) than it did with their male counterparts (2.0). Younger women (18-34) outdrew men by a half point (1.9 to 1.4). Brooklyn Nine-Nine was more evenly balanced. 

Of course, the real test comes next week, when the new comedies go head-to-head with the series premiere of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (ABC) and the 11th season opener of the most-watched series on television, CBS’ NCIS.

The competition will be just as intense in the second hour, as New Girl/Mindy will square off against the one-hour installment of NBC’s The Voice and ABC’s pairing of new comedies The Goldbergs and Trophy Wife. The newcomers replace the canceled fan favorites Happy Endings and Don’t Trust the B—- in Apt. 23.

The Fox chuckle block last night went up against a handful of repeats, ABC’s screening of Iron Man 2 and the eighth installment of the wheezing NBC game show The Million Second Quiz. In the 8-9 p.m. slot, Quiz drew 5.22 million viewers and a 1.1 in the demo, and while that was up a tick from Monday night’s installment, the overall deliveries for the show have been disappointing. With two nights left on the clock, Quiz is averaging a 1.2 in the demo.

Meanwhile, at 9 p.m., the penultimate episode of NBC’s summer competition series America’s Got Talent drew 11.2 million viewers and a 2.4 in the dollar demo.

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