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Last night, NBC finally premiered its new drama Constantine, a new show about an exorcist and occult detective that also happens to mark the network’s first entry into DC’s comic TV realm. NBC has been looking for a stable series to pair with Grimm for quite some time, and Constantine may be a winner. Last night, Constantine capably pulled a 1.4 rating, which was down just a smidge from Grimm’s 1.5 rating in the 18-49 demographic.
The good news for Constantine is that it kept most of its Grimm lead in, nabbing 4.3 million total viewers during its premiere. That’s a million total viewers down from Grimm, which did 5.3 million total viewers on Friday night, but still relatively good overall.
TV Line has been quick to note that Constantine’s numbers are down from Dracula’s premiere, which was NBC’s attempt to populate the Friday timeslot last year. Dracula’s premiere drew 5.3 million total viewers and a 1.8 rating. Dracula was also canceled after just one season, and if you compare the numbers, things don’t look particularly great for Constantine. Regardless, there are two things fans should keep in mind when attempting to compare last year’s Friday premieres to this year’s.
First, it's actually difficult to compare Dracula and Constantine for the simple reason that Grimm premiered to bigger numbers last year. The Grimm Season 3 premiere drew 6.1 million total viewers, which is much higher than this fall’s Season 4 premiere and which certainly made it easier for Dracula’s debut to retain big numbers last year. More importantly, however, Dracula started immediately dropping in the ratings during week 2. All Constantine has to do is maintain its ratings next week and it should be sitting prettier than last year’s show.
Constantine’s pilot was fairly well-received, but it should be getting better moving forward. One of the big issues NBC had with the pilot was Lucy Griffith’s character, Liz, who had originally been conceived as a sidekick for John Constantine. Instead, she’ll be replaced by Zed, a character from the comics who will appear as the new female lead in the show. Hopefully, by Episode 2, Constantine’s kinks will be worked out.
You can catch NBC’s Grimm on Fridays at 9 p.m. ET. Constantine follows the veteran supernatural series, airing on NBC at 10 p.m. ET. Additionally, NBC has made the Grimm Season 4 premiere and the Constantine Season 1 premiere available online.