Bang! Yesterday was the first official night of the 2012-13 broadcast TV season and we’re off and running. For the first time since May, every Monday time slot was filled with a new show. I’m sure that insane Seattle Seahawks vs. Green Bay Packers game on ESPN doubtless drew some eyeballs away from the Big Four networks, so let’s keep that in mind.
The biggest news: NBC’s Revolution (9.3 million viewers, 3.5 rating among adults 18-49) took a 15 percent dip in its second week, but still ruled 10 p.m. in the demo. In fact, Revolution easily beat the premieres of ABC’s Castle (11.4 million, 2.5), down 22 percent from last year, and crushed CBS’ Hawaii Five-0 (8 million, 1.9), down 44 percent to a series low.
If that seems low for Hawaii, CBS would probably agree. The network’s entire lineup returned last night and took a hit, though year-over-year comparisons are tough because last fall included the ridiculously high debut for Two and a Half Men starring new hire Ashton Kutcher. Plus, in the past, football has tended to impact CBS shows a bit more than rivals, but we gotta play the numbers as we see them here. And then there’s NBC’s The Voice (11.9 million, 4.2) – moving this show into fall might have really shaken up the race.
NBC won Monday night in the demo, overall. Voice was down 11 percent from last week with the increased competition, which isn’t bad. Voice hammered the premiere of ABC’s Dancing With the Stars (14.6 million, 2.7), down 32 percent from last year despite airing an all-stars edition.
Now let’s get into this CBS comedy block, which included a new series premiere: How I Met Your Mother (8.7 million, 3.4) returned down 28 percent with its lowest-rated debut since 2007. New show Partners (6.5 million, 2.4) was down 29 percent from its lead-in. The Partners number might be OK for another network in this time period, but is definitely soft for CBS. At 9 p.m., 2 Broke Girls (10 million, 3.7), now in the captain’s chair, was obviously down sharply from last year’s Men-fueled premiere, but still ranked as the night’s highest-rated scripted show. Mike & Molly (9.3 million, 3.0) then dipped 19 percent from its lead-in.
Couple thoughts on CBS here: Two and a Half Men is now on Thursday nights, so that was a calculated decision by the network to strengthen one night and potentially take a hit on this one. Also, each year the network likes to point out – and I’m sure the email is coming soon – how viewers tend to sample new shiny shows at the start of the fall, then eventually return to reliable ‘ol CBS. We’ll see if that holds true this season too.
All that left Fox in last place for the night. Bones (7.3 million, 2.2) nearly held last week’s premiere. But the second episode of The Mob Doctor (3.9 million, 1.3) fell 13 percent. A drop like that after a series premiere is standard, but the Mob Doc didn’t have 13 percent to give.
RELATED: Best & Worst Fall TV Ads Graded