NBC Wins Opening Night Ratings Brawl

Peacock dominates with 'The Voice,' 'Revolution'

NBC won the first ratings skirmish of the 2012-13 broadcast TV season, as The Voice and Revolution ran the table against CBS’ comedy-drama stew.

Per Nielsen live-plus-same-day data, NBC ran away with the demo, averaging a 3.9 rating among adults 18-to-49. CBS took second with a 3.2, followed by ABC (2.3), Fox (1.8) and Univision (1.5). 

While down from last Monday’s 4.7 rating, The Voice was the top program in the dollar demo, notching a 4.4. The NBC anchor peaked in its final half hour, averaging 12.9 million viewers and a 4.8 rating from 9:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.

CBS’ revamped comedy slate took its lumps against The Voice. While How I Met Your Mother put up solid numbers at the top of the night (8.84 million viewers/3.6 rating), the new comedy Partners opened to just 6.56 million viewers and a 2.4 rating in the lead-out slot.

That weak debut casts a pall over Partners, which occupies the slot formerly held by last season’s breakout comedy 2 Broke Girls. Recall that CBS last year canceled How to Be a Gentleman after just two episodes, and that series actually bowed to slightly stronger numbers (8.98 million viewers and a 2.7 rating).

In its new 9 p.m. slot, 2 Broke Girls earned CBS’ biggest deliveries on the night, averaging 10.1 million viewers and a 3.7 in the dollar demo. While that was down considerably from its massive series premiere on Sept. 19, 2011 (19.4 million viewers/7.1 rating), last year’s Girls benefited from a Two and a Half Men lead-in (28.7 million/10.7) that was further primed by the Sheen-Kutcher switcheroo. 

From 8-10 p.m., ABC’s Dancing With the Stars: All-Stars notched a 2.5 in the demo, down 38 percent from last fall’s premiere. (The Sept. 19, 2011 launch of DWTS’s 13th cycle scared up 19 million viewers and a 4.0 rating.)

Meanwhile, Fox continued to struggle with its Monday night roster, as the second installment of The Mob Doctor slumped to an unsustainable 3.85 million viewers and a 1.3 in the demo. At this early stage in the game, it’s all but certain that we’ll see two of the three new Monday series get whacked before Columbus Day.

NBC kept its hitting streak alive at 10 p.m., winning the hour with the second episode of Revolution. While ABC’s Castle drew more viewers (10.5 million to 9.21 million), Revolution marched off with the demo, earning a 3.4 to ABC’s 2.1.

While Revolution was off 17 percent from its premiere rating (4.1), that’s well within the expected attrition rate for a second episode. And the newbie practically tripled the deliveries of year-ago time slot occupant The Playboy Club, which in its second installment notched a meager 3.97 million viewers and a 1.3 rating. (The misbegotten period piece would be canceled after its third broadcast.)  

Also cause for concern at CBS is Hawaii Five-0, which returned for its third season to a very soft 8.06 million viewers and a 1.8 in the demo, down 28 percent from its Season 2 average (2.5).

Tonight promises to be a free-for-all, as CBS brings out the big guns with the season premieres of NCIS and NCIS: Los Angeles, followed by the series debut of the Dennis Quaid-Michael Chiklis Sin City drama Vegas. NBC rolls out new installments of The Voice, Go On, The New Normal and Parenthood, while Fox unveils its two-hour comedy block: New Girl, Ben and Kate, New Girl and The Mindy Project. (Raising Hope assumes the 8 p.m. slot starting Oct. 2.)

ABC will counter with another two-hour installment of DWTS and the season premiere of Private Practice. The 9-10 p.m. slot officially becomes a comedy road block on Oct. 23, when ABC returns Happy Endings and Don’t Trust the B—- in Apt. 23 opposite Go On/The New Normal and New Girl/The Mindy Project