The winter portion of the 2019-2020 TV season has officially kicked off, and networks large and small are offering comedies, dramas, competitions, game shows, and special events to occupy the evening hours. The week of February 2 included Super Bowl 2020 with (perhaps more importantly) some seriously wild commercials, the State of the Union address, the debuts of new seasons, a big premiere for a brand new show, and a pilot continuing his dramatic search for love. Basically, a lot happened on the small screen this week, so read on for a rundown of the biggest trends, outliers, and network competitions from the week of February 2!
Note: all calculations are Live+Same day in the 18-49 age demographic.
Super Bowl 2020 Was Super For Fox
February 2 delivered the 2020 Super Bowl on Fox, which pitted the Kansas City Chiefs against the San Francisco 49ers, introduced Baby Yoda's nuttiest competition, and featured a killer halftime show. It also reached a whole lot of viewers. Prepare yourself for some numbers that would be absolutely ridiculous if Sunday, February 2 was any other night than Super Bowl Sunday: TV Series Finale reports 85.25 million people tuned in for Super Bowl 2020, with a 18-49 demographic rating of 25.9.
No, neither of those numbers has the decimal point in the wrong place. More than 85 million people watched for a rating of nearly 26! Massive numbers for Super Bowl Sunday are of course to be expected, which is undoubtedly why every single one of the other broadcast networks (even The CW!) only aired reruns on February 2.
But the incredible numbers don't stop at the big game for Fox, or even the postgame show (which had an audience of 48.26 million and a demo of 15.5). The Masked Singer Season 3 premiere held the enviable post-Super Bowl slot, and the super lead-in resulted in some super incredible numbers! The first episode of The Masked Singer's third season was watched by 29.73 million and won a rating of 9.9, which represent boosts of more than 270% and 290%, respectively.
And the Super Bowl bump almost certainly didn't stop with The Masked Singer Season 3 premiere on Super Bowl Sunday! Although the correlation can't be definitively proven, The Masked Singer held onto some big numbers for its Season 3 8 p.m. ET time slot premiere on February 5. The viewership and ratings were of course lower than Super Bowl Sunday, but the show easily won its time slot (and the whole night) with a 2.0 rating. Viewership was a different story, but no other show came close to that 2.0, and the 7.4 million viewers isn't a shabby audience.
Those numbers for The Masked Singer are likely what led to a huge debut for Fox's freshman series, LEGO Masters, at 9 p.m. ET. The LEGO Masters series premiere came in behind only The Masked Singer in the 18-49 demo with its 1.6, according to TV Series Finale, and was respectable with 4.84 million. The Super Bowl was pretty super for the whole week of February 2!
I do have to take a moment to give Wednesday night credit where credit is due, however, and that's not entirely on Fox. The three shows NBC's One Chicago came in first, second, and fourth in viewership on the night of February 5, each with a 1.1 demo, each over 7 million viewers, and each growing over the previous episode. As in the fall of the 2019-2020 TV season, Wednesdays could be the nights to watch when it comes to ratings.
The Bachelor Needs A Boost
ABC went big on The Bachelor during the week of February 2, with not one but two new episodes, one of which ran for three hours! Yes, there were five hours of Peter Weber trying to find love on The Bachelor. Did it translate to ABC dominating in the ratings and winning the love of masses of viewers?
Well, there's good news and bad news, and we can start with the good. The Bachelor did win Monday, February 3 primetime in the demo ratings with a 1.5, placing it above Fox's 9-1-1: Lone Star and NBC's America's Got Talent: The Champions in the time slot. That said, The Bachelor didn't even crack the top 3 in viewership in the 8 p.m. slot, coming in behind AGT: The Champions, 9-1-1: Lone Star, and CBS' The Neighborhood, all of which were over 6 million compared to The Bachelor's 5.61 million. The Bachelor also dropped more than 6% in both ratings and viewership from the previous week.
Hey, at least TV Series Finale reports The Bachelor scored higher viewership in the 8 p.m. slot than The CW's All American! That said, The Bachelor's 5.61 million also put it behind Bob (Hearts) Abishola in the 8:30 p.m. ET slot on CBS and only just ahead of CBS' All Rise. The third hour also didn't seem to affect the other broadcasts in the 10 p.m. ET slot, with NBC's Manifest growing in the demo (although dropping 5% in viewership) and Bull holding steady in the demo and rising in viewership.
Monday was good enough for The Bachelor with the ratings win, but what about the bonus episode on Wednesday? Again, good news and bad news. The Bachelor came in second in its time slot with a demo of 1.4, behind only The Masked Singer and 0.3 ahead of Chicago Med. It still lost to LEGO Masters on the night, but it didn't have a Super Bowl launch. Viewership was a problem again, though.
With 5.08 million viewers on February 5, The Bachelor came in third in its time slot behind Chicago Med and The Masked Singer and fifth on the night, with both Chicago Fire at 9 p.m. ET and Chicago P.D. at 10 p.m. ET scoring upward of 7 million. Worse still, The Bachelor's numbers of 1.4 rating and 5.08 million represent drops of 10% and 9.6% from just Monday, respectively. Maybe The Bachelor really did make a mistake with Peter Weber!
State Of The Union Network Showdown
Oh, the State of the Union address: one of the few times per year when each of the big 4 broadcast networks are airing the exact same thing. Yes, with the exception of The CW with Legends of Tomorrow following the winter premiere of The Flash, primetime on network TV on the night of February 4 was all about... well, the state of the union. Which of the networks was the biggest hit in the 9 p.m. ET hour?
The State of the Union network showdown was surprisingly close! The four networks were all within 0.4 of each other in the demo rating, and none hit below 3 million viewers. But who won? That depends on your preferred metric. When it comes to the ratings, NBC and Fox tied with 0.9, with ABC coming in third with 0.6 and CBS in fourth with 0.5. Viewership was a different story. According to TV Series Finale, CBS shot to first with 4.24 million, with NBC coming in second with 4.05, ABC in third with 3.45, and Fox coming in last with 3.18.
Personally, I give the State of the Union win to NBC. Although NBC technically tied for the top in the demo and came in second in viewership, it beat CBS in the demo by 0.4 and only fell behind CBS in viewership by 0.19 million. With the exception of the tie with Fox in the demo rating and the all-but-negligible second to CBS in viewership, I put NBC on top.
Suffice it to say, all four State of the Union broadcasts beat The CW's Legends of Tomorrow with its 0.2 rating and 0.79 million audience.
Last Man Standing Stands Up To Brooklyn Nine-Nine
Thursday, February 6 saw the return of the most die-hard sitcom on the small screen with the Season 7 premiere of NBC's Brooklyn Nine-Nine. NBC aired two episodes to kick off the seventh season, and there was every reason to believe Brooklyn Nine-Nine could attract a decent audience in the 8 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. ET time slots. Not if Fox's Last Man Standing had anything to say about it, though!
Unsurprisingly, Young Sheldon was the top-rated and most-watched sitcom of the night; the question was more or less always which sitcom would take second behind the Big Bang Theory spinoff in the 8 p.m. slot. Last Man Standing claimed that spot, with a 14% demo jump to a 0.8 rating and 2% viewership jump to hit 4.03 million.
To contrast, Brooklyn Nine-Nine's Season 7 premiere only hit 0.7 in the demo rating and 2.67 million. While that's not a huge demo difference, it's worth noting that Brooklyn Nine-Nine's 0.7 was a nearly 43% drop from the Season 6 finale, and the 2.67 million was more than 24% lower than the previous episode as well.
And that's not even all the bad news. Brooklyn Nine-Nine came in third in the 8:30 p.m. ET hour with its second episode, with a 0.5 rating coming behind CBS' The Unicorn with 0.7 and Fox's Outmatched with 0.6. TV Series Finale reports Brooklyn Nine-Nine was also third in viewership with an audience of 2.01 million, behind The Unicorn's 6.15 million and Outmatched's 2.65 million.
Even worse, Brooklyn Nine-Nine's 0.5 rating and 2.01 million audience represent drops of nearly 29% and 25% from the 8 p.m. ET broadcast. But hey, at least NBC already renewed the show for Season 8!
So there you have the rundown of the biggest twists, trends, and face-offs from the February 2 week of TV ratings! Next week will be more traditional without the Super Bowl or another State of the Union broadcast, so be sure to check back with CinemaBlend for another ratings roundup! For some viewing options this coming week and beyond, check out our 2020 winter and spring premiere schedule.