Sleepy Hollow Goes Out on a High Note, The Blacklist Continues to Slip

No relief in sight as Monday 10 p.m. slot just gets tighter

Fox’s freshman hit Sleepy Hollow wrapped its first season in grand fashion, drawing its biggest ratings in months with a two-part cliffhanger finale.

According to Nielsen live-plus-same-day data, the supersized Sleepy Hollow averaged 6.94 million viewers and a 2.3 in the adults 18-49 demo, marking its strongest showing since mid-November.

The first hour of the finale scared up 6.82 million viewers and a 2.2 rating, while the second segment averaged 7.05 million viewers and a 2.4 in the dollar demo. Sleepy’s deliveries peaked in the 9:30-10 p.m. slot, averaging 7.24 million viewers and a 2.4 rating.

All told, Sleepy’s first season averaged 7.46 million viewers and a 2.6 rating. At present, the supernatural drama stands as the No. 3 new broadcast series, trailing only NBC’s The Blacklist (3.0) and ABC’s Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (2.7).

Speaking of The Blacklist, the James Spader procedural took another tumble Monday night, its second without having The Voice as its lead-in. The 10 p.m. drama fell to a series-low 2.3 in the demo, as back-to-back episodes of Hollywood Game Night could muster only a 1.3 and a 1.5 in the first two hours of prime.

By way of comparison, the 13 Monday night episodes of The Voice averaged a 4.0 in the demo, per Nielsen live-plus-same-day estimates.

Across the dial on CBS, the third installment of Intelligence showed no improvement over last week’s disappointing time slot premiere. The Josh Holloway sci-fi/action series averaged just 5.77 million viewers and a 1.1 in the 18-49 demo, down one-tenth of a ratings point from its previous delivery.

Given the moribund numbers put up by Intelligence and its predecessor, the limited series Hostages—during its 15-episode lifespan, the show averaged 5.16 million viewers and a 1.2 rating—CBS has a real conundrum on its hands. While the network hasn’t indicated that it was ready to cut and run on its newest drama, the option of sliding Hawaii Five-0 back into its former time slot is starting to look increasingly attractive.

CBS has one last new drama in its back pocket, in the hothouse legal thriller Reckless. No premiere date has been set for the series, which is produced in-house by CBS Television Studios. 

(For what it’s worth, CBS entertainment president Nina Tassler last week gave Intelligence a vote of confidence, telling TCA Winter Press Tour attendees that she and her team “love the stars and … think it’s a really good show” while acknowledging how tough the time slot has become. Tassler said CBS thus far has screened 11 episodes of Intelligence, which is executive produced by North Country scribe Michael Seitzman.)

Intelligence may have a shot at improving its station after Jan. 27, when The Blacklist goes on a one-month hiatus. But as it stands now, ABC’s clockwork-consistent cop drama Castle would appear to be in a better position to capitalize on the schedule change. On Monday night Castle averaged a 2.0 rating, just three-tenths of a point shy of the dominant Blacklist’s delivery. 

Thus far, Sleepy Hollow and The Blacklist are the only two new series to earn renewals for the 2014-15 campaign. Although it has fallen vertiginously since it premiered to a staggering 4.7 rating, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is a shoe-in for a second season, as is the CBS comedy The Millers. Fox’s second new drama, Almost Human, is faring well enough on Monday nights (2.0) to get another shot next fall, and the comedies The Goldbergs (ABC) and The Crazy Ones (CBS) also are well north of the Mendoza line.