The 2022 Olympics more or less dominated the airwaves for the better part of the month of February, with NBC bumping its usual primetime hits to post-Olympics slots and other networks not bothering to compete against the 2022 Games. In the week of February 20, however, ABC, CBS, The CW, Fox, and NBC brought most of their biggest hits back, and some networks even premiered some new shows. So, now that regularly-scheduled TV is mostly back, let’s look at some highlights that could mix up the ratings game for the rest of the season: the four new shows that premiered this week.
To get the most out of the ratings for the week of February 20, we’re going to look at the ratings and total number of viewers from the valuable 18-49 age demographic in Live+Same day totals, meaning the number of people who tuned in live on the night of broadcasts. And, in the interest of fairness, we’ll go in alphabetical order for the shows that premiered this week!
America's Got Talent: Extreme - NBC
The America’s Got Talent spinoff debuted on Monday, February 21 at 8 p.m. ET, on the heels of a tragic announcement about a former AGT contestant. The new show lived up to its Extreme name with its first golden buzzer winner, as well as with the Monday night ratings (via Spoiler TV). The series premiere scored a rating of 0.7 and audience of 4.48 million, which put it on top of the competition in the ratings vs. ABC’s The Bachelor, Fox’s 9-1-1: Lone Star, and The CW’s All American, all of which aired new episodes in the same time slot. (Lone Star did have the larger audience with 5.1 million.)
But how did the series premiere of AGT: Extreme compare to the premiere of the most recent season of AGT? Well, the spinoff did well, but not quite as well as the Season 16 premiere of its parent show. According to TVLine, the Season 16 premiere back in June hit an 0.85 rating and audience of 7.1 million. The lower numbers for AGT: Extreme (0.7 rating and 4.48 million) aren’t surprising, with the show’s narrower focus on extreme competitors compared to the broader range on AGT, and Extreme still did quite well, so all signs point toward a hit for NBC. At least during the wait for AGT Season 17, anyway!
All American: Homecoming/The CW
I admittedly often leave shows from The CW off of my ratings rankings due to the fact that even The CW’s biggest hits can rarely hit the numbers of even the worst flops on the Big 4 networks. (Sorry, CW.) Many of the network’s shows are either spinoffs or shows that launched spinoffs, and the new Homecoming series (that has been in the works since 2020) airs directly after the All American parent show. In the February 21 series premiere at 9 p.m. ET, All American: Homecoming finished with a rating of 0.14 and total audience of 0.473 million.
Aside from proving my point about ratings for CW series not coming even a little bit close to television’s biggest hits, the early Live+Same numbers aren’t too great for the spinoff, particularly since series premieres generally score higher than non-premiere/non-finale episodes. The numbers for All American also indicate that not all fans of the parent series stuck around for the spinoff, with the Season 4 winter premiere hitting a rating of 0.17 and audience of 0.651 million. Again, not record-breaking ratings for the broadcast network as a whole, but the difference of nearly 200k viewers between the two shows is a lot when their totals are under 1 million.
The Endgame - NBC
The Endgame is actually the first and only series premiere of the week that is neither a revival nor a spinoff, and it featured a veteran TV actress in Morena Baccarin as one of the two co-leading ladies of the cast. The 10 p.m. ET slot isn’t the most enviable for new series, however, especially against Celebrity Big Brother on February 21. But NBC officially has a win with the new show’s series premiere, because the beginning of The Endgame was on top in its time slot with a rating of 0.4 and audience of 3.3 million.
The 0.4 rating technically ties Celebrity Big Brother, but The Endgame beats the star-studded edition of CBS’ long-running competition show by nearly 1 million viewers, with NBC’s 3.3 million vs. CBS’ 2.4 million. ABC’s Promised Land was well behind both, with 0.2 and 1.6 million. The Endgame didn’t crush all the scripted competition on the night in audience size (since 9-1-1: Lone Star at 8 p.m. gets the #1 spot), but winning 10 p.m. over Celebrity Big Brother is a good sign for the first season.
Law & Order - NBC
For the last series premiere of the week, we head over to Thursday, February 24 for what is technically a revival. With the return of Law & Order coming more than a decade after its original end and to a very different TV landscape than it left in 2010, I’m counting it as a premiere. And frankly, NBC should be proud to consider it a premiere as well, because it was the top drama in its slot at 8 p.m. ET, which is not something the network could claim when The Blacklist was on Thursdays. With its revival series premiere, Law & Order hit a preliminary rating of 0.7 and audience of 5.5 million (via Spoiler TV).
L&O therefore beat the winter premiere of Station 19, which brought the Grey’s Anatomy spinoff back for the first time since mid-December, although Station 19 technically tied in the ratings with 0.7 and only fell behind in audience size with 4.7 million. L&O also edged out Law & Order: SVU Season 23 at 9 p.m. (with its 0.7 rating and 5 million viewers) and easily beat Law & Order: Organized Crime Season 2 (with its 0.5 and 3.4 million). That said, Thursday nights are often impacted significantly by Live+3 day and Live+7 delayed totals, and it’s likely that L&O will dip after its much-hyped premiere, so the Thursday numbers will be worth keeping an eye on.
For now, TV fans can rejoice in the returns of most of the biggest shows on television, although some – like the three NCIS shows – did not air new episodes this past week. Those CBS series will be back starting in the week of February 27, however, and NCIS and NCIS: Hawai’i on Monday nights will mix things up for the three new shows that launched on February 21. There is still a lot to look forward to elsewhere in primetime as well, so check out our 2022 TV schedule for what to watch and when to tune in.
Resident of One Chicago, Bachelor Nation, and Cleveland. Has opinions about crossovers, Star Wars, and superheroes. Will not time travel.
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