This week is a big week for television, as a lot of the major networks are premiering new and returning series. Last night was a particularly big night for programming---especially in regards to new series, as CBS debuted the highly anticipated Bull starring Michael Weatherly and NBC premiered the critical darling This is Us starring Mandy Moore, Sterling K. Brown, Milo Ventimiglia and a slew of other big names. In fact, in terms of total viewers, Michael Weatherly's Bull absolutely dominated.
We say in terms of total viewers, because there is such a thing as a "rating" in the 18-49 demographic, and in terms of the demo, NBC had the highest ratings of the night, per the network, which dominated with The Voice and This is Us. The singing competition series did a 3.4 rating and 12.2 million and the new feel-good drama did a 2.8 rating and 10.8 million total viewers. That rating is really impressive, but the show didn't manage to beat Bull or its lead-in NCIS in terms of overall viewership.
Per Deadline, Bull brought in 15.5 million total viewers and a 2.2. rating, which matches up pretty closely with the numbers NCIS did an hour before. The veteran procedural that Michael Weatherly actually left last spring did 15.6 million total viewers, edging ahead, but a slightly larger number of younger people watched Bull, as NCIS only did a 2.1 rating. Still, both of those numbers look very good. This is especially good news for Michael Weatherly, who looks as if he has hopped from one successful series to another.
Clearly, it was a great night for television, especially on NBC and CBS. Both Bull on CBS and This is Us on NBC totally exceeded expectations and will hopefully continue to do so as they move forward. TV can be tricky, however. A lot of---if not most---shows see a decent-sized drop between Week 1 and Week 2 of a series. If the numbers stabilize shortly after, it tends to be okay. Still, some network TV shows see ratings drop and drop and drop until they are eventually cancelled by a channel. The numbers were so high for Bull, etc. that it seems unlikely they'll drop enough to warrant cancellation at this point, but we will be keeping an eye out in the coming weeks.
This isn't the end of premiere week, however, the major networks, including NBC and CBS but also Fox and ABC will still be tossing new content out over the next couple of weeks and into early next month. In addition, the CW has a ton of shows slated to premiere in November. To find out when your favorites will be returning, check out our fall TV premiere schedule.
Amazing Race & Top Chef superfan with a pinch of Disney fairy dust thrown in. If you’ve created a rom-com I’ve probably watched it.
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