Ratings: Shark Tank and ABC Newsmags Surge Opposite CBS Hoops; Nikita Steady

ABC made the most of the CBS dramas riding the pine in deference to NCAA basketball coverage, with each piece of its Friday slate netting gains.

Leading off the evening, Shark Tank drew 6.1 million total viewers — the series’ second-largest audience ever — and a 1.7 demo rating, up some 20 percent week-to-week and leading all non-hoops programming on both counts.

Primetime: What Would You Do? (5.6 mil/1.5) followed by surging 39 and 25 percent, and then 20/20 (5.6 mil/1.4) gained 26 percent and a tenth.

Over on The CW, after a few weeks on the bench, Nikita returned to 1.53 million total viewers and a 0.5 rating, exactly matching its most recent tallies, while Supernatural (1.7 mil/0.7) was steady in audience but dipped a tenth in the demo — though 50 percent of the time, I’ll note before someone else does, the show gains that tenth back in the finals.

Will the polarizing Castiel’s return next week boost Supe’s numbers? Was that question but a blatant plug for our new photo gallery?

All told, CBS’ primetime college basketball coverage is poised to eke out a win in total audience (albeit with 40 percent fewer viewers than the usual drama line-up) and easily lead the demos (up 10 percent versus Blue Bloods et al).