Ratings: Once, Good Wife and Everyone Else Return Down, Betrayal Opens Low

Ratings Once Upon a Time Season 3All nine of Sunday’s returning broadcast shows came back to numbers smaller than their previous premieres, though there was a silver lining for at least two of them.

RELATED | Once Upon a Time Creators Talk Casting Pan, Emma’s Focus, Neal’s Fate, Mulan Movie Nod and More

Opening ABC’s Premiere Sunday, Once Upon a Time drew 8.5 million total viewers and a 2.6 demo rating, down 33 percent in the demo year-over-year but up from its May finale (7.3 mil/2.3). Similarly, lead-out Revenge (8 mil/2.5) was off 22 percent from its sophomore opener but up sharply — 47 percent — from its finale, and opposite what surely was a well-watched Breaking Bad swan song.

RELATED | Revenge Premiere Post Mortem: New Showrunner Answers Burning Qs, Previews What’s to Come

Capping ABC’s night, Betrayal — which earned a “C-” grade from TVLine readers — debuted to 5.3 mil and a 1.5, down 32 percent from 666 Park Avenue’s fall 2012 launch and matching Red Widow’s spring premiere demo.

RELATED | Fall TV Poll: Is ABC’s Betrayal Worthy of a Second Date?

Over on CBS, based on very preliminary, football overrun-tainted tallies, The Amazing Race (8.8 mil/2.0), The Good Wife (9 mil/1.5) and The Mentalist (9.7 mil/1.6) all look down about 20 percent in the demo from their year ago premieres, with the latter two also off a tenth from their May finales.

RELATED | Read Our Premieres Recaps for The Good Wife and The Mentalist

Among non-sports broadcast fare, Fox’s The Simpsons (6.3 mil/2.8) drew Sunday’s best demo rating (while 27 percent from its previous premiere). Bob’s Burgers (4.4 mil/2.1), Family Guy (5.3 mil/2.6) and American Dad (4.3 mil/2.1) were down 19, 21 and 16 percent in the demo from their year-ago openers.

Want scoop on any of the above shows? Email insideline@tvline.com and your question may be answered via Matt’s Inside Line.

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  1. HeatherC says:

    I wish those OUAT and Revenge numbers would have been a little higher as both premieres were pretty awesome but with all the other stuff debuting (or in BBs case, ending) over on cable tonight, I bet the DVR numbers for these two shows are off the charts. I know a ton of people are watching both of these shows but none of us are Nielson families so we basically don’t count. I really wish the ratings system worked better. =P

    • AshleyRae says:

      Clearly……everybody else like myself was watching BREAKING BAD and the after show.
      I forgot about once uopn a time.

    • A.Rae says:

      I agree 100%, we would normally have watched OUAT as a family in HD, but the kids and I watched upstairs while BB ruled the “big TV”. My husband isn’t an OUAT fan, so I’m sure he wishes that would happen every Sunday!

  2. Carm says:

    Everything started on time on CBS last night.

    • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

      Not in the New York City, Chicago, Houston, Detroit, Tampa, Nashville, Hartford, Kansas City, Memphis and Knoxville markets, apparently.

    • TV Gord says:

      This was the CBS Eye-lert that was sent to subscribers last night”

      “Revised start times (ET) for tonight’s CBS programs: 60 Minutes (7:15 PM), The Amazing Race (8:15 PM), The Good Wife (9:15 PM) and The Mentalist (10:15 PM) due to CBS live coverage of NFL on CBS: NYJ @ TEN.”

  3. Mrs. Peele says:

    i thought ‘ouat’ was very good. enjoyed the recap first. maybe they should have rerun episodes instead of having other things in their time slot. i just happen to see it was on. i don’t watch the other shows…

  4. courts says:

    That doesn’t bode well for OUAT. They’ll probably start falling below 2.0 as the season progresses.

  5. Tammy says:

    I DVR’d OUAT and Revenge. Last night was all about Breaking Bad and Homeland for us. (Talking Bad as well) I like to watch shows like Revenge on the treadmill. The 40-45 minutes go by so quickly that way. We rarely watch anything but sports live in our house, everything is on the DVR. We started last night with the two episodes of Big Bang Theory before we got into BB. (BTW We didn’t even finish the pilot of Michael J Fox show)

  6. Talia says:

    I had about 18 people over to watch Breaking Bad & Talking Bad and most of them set their dvr to record Once, Revenge, Homeland, etc. and those who didn’t will just watch these shows on demand like I do. The neilsons rating system is outdated and has to go.

    • Ashley says:

      You are so right about the Neilsens!

    • courts says:

      Only to us it’s outdated. Broadcast networks mostly only care about demos because it’s how they sell commercials and make money. But if you DVR and skip commercials it makes their product worth less to advertisers

      • liz says:

        They do care about the demo, and only the demo, but what never ceases to amaze me is how UNWILLING the networks are to change. The all-precious “demo” doesn’t watch tv in the way that its currently tracked. These are university kids who don’t have a regular schedule, let alone the antiquated idea to buy a cable package. The demo watches, they just don’t know it cause they won’t change how they track viewers.

  7. Maryann says:

    Hopefully the numbers will go up next week now that Breaking Bad is done with. I watched Once Upon a Time, Revenge and Betrayal, all of which were extremely good. I will try not to get too attached to Betrayal since the numbers are so poor, but it is too good not to watch. The Mentalist will be viewing for this morning. I can’t wait for the wind up of the Red John story, which will be playing out over the entire fall. It looks like basically a relaunch of the series is to come following the Red John finale. I’m really glad they decided to go that route rather than making the conclusion of the Red John story line the series finale.

  8. ggny says:

    So Revenge is up huge from the fall finale but it returns low is the headline? Makes no sense of course it is on par with last season premiere season 1 was great. But seeing that people are coming back after terrible last season is great to see. I mean really up almost 50% from the fall finale is great news and people are coming back

  9. Elyse says:

    I throughly enjoyed both the OUAT premiere and the Revenge premiere. glad they are both up from last years finales! can’t wait to see more :)

  10. Sundays at 10 p.m. is still a “black hole” for ABC and Betrayal should be its latest victim following in the footsteps of Pan Am, GCB, 666 Park Avenue and Red Widow.

    • lll says:

      Ever since Brothers and Sisters left the air, nothing is able to stick there since. ABC’s saving grace is to stick an established show there. Thursdays at 7 central (8 eastern) is another gaping hole, but we’ll see if OUAT Wonderland can save that slot.

    • Ashley says:

      I miss Pan Am! I know..it was a hot mess in the beginning but seem to find its footing by the finale. Or at least it was enjoyable to me. ABC is better off putting another episode of 20/20 or something.

      • Alice says:

        If you loved Pan Am, surely you recognized the Pan Am alumnus that’s now on Revenge? Collette seems to be up to no good as the French magazine magnate’s daughter. I do love her new hair.

      • Tenney says:

        I also miss Pan Am. The first few episodes were rough but it started to really come together after that and became a really good show. I was so looking forward to seeing where that show was going to take us. Apparently it ended up taking us nowhere.
        I was also a fan of 666 Park Ave and that too did not last too long in the Sunday Night ABC death slot. I didn’t even try to watch Betrayal because I figured that would be gone soon too. From the reviews I read, glad I didn’t watch it.

    • Justin11 says:

      They should’ve moved/cancelled Brothers & Sisters earlier and launched something else out of Desperate Housewives when it was a ratings juggernaut.

  11. mantua says:

    Now matter how you slice, those are very decent numbers for OUAT and Revenge, especially without the probably considerable DVR-boost. If both could stay in the 2.0 range throughhout the season, the fourth seasons would be no-brainers. Also if The Mentalist really wraps up the Red John mystery, I may bingewatch it from Season 4 (I stopped back then) and then the only big mystery of Sunday would remain this : WHY DON’T YOU PEOPLE WATCH THE GOOD WIFE ? It’s pretty much better than ANY network drama, even in its fifth season !

  12. tony says:

    maybe they should change agents of shields to sundays at 10pm..

  13. Boiler says:

    Didn’t watch Betrayal but when is ABC going to quit trying to think something new is better in that slot??

  14. leigh says:

    I don’t watch Breaking Bad but after reading the tvline.com summary I can understand why many people watched it. And as for Betrayal, it looked predictable and not all that interesting. I watched the last few minutes and don’t want to go back. I am interested to see what the ratings will be next week.

  15. bobbie says:

    The Good Wife is excellent as always, the best. I wonder what people were doing instead of watching? Where they watching football? Not watching anything?

    • TV Gord says:

      I watched Breaking Bad at 9pm eastern, but then I caught The Good Wife at 1am (I’m in Canada, where The Good Wife airs at 9pm (or whenever football ends), 10pm, midnight and 1am.

      • Brian says:

        The thing about the Good Wife is, every week the time it starts changes due to Football. I almost gave up last night. Sundays are the only time I watch a TV live. You can’t plan on watching something when you never know when it ei start. To some degree I thing CBS is aware of this.

    • Tav says:

      Ehhh, they’ve been shedding viewers consistently since CBS moved them to Sunday nights 2(3?) years ago. Here’s hoping they wrap everything up and go out respectably (story-wise) by the end of the season. Same for the Mentalist.


      Breaking bad’s finale was on during that time. That is why. Also revenge was also on at the same time.

  16. Mikael says:

    Once and Revenge were amazing last night! Both shows have recovered from their less-than-stellar 2nd seasons. Hopefully people who stopped watching will come back when they hear that the shows are better again.

    • dsm says:

      No offense :) …… but how can you say that Revenge has gotten better with one measly episode?!? Becuase we’ve been told by the new showrunners which storylines are gone and what is up coming? It still might be terrible – last night’s episode was nothing special to say the least!

  17. Jennifer says:

    It seems a lot of people were turned off by season 2 of OUaT but I think the premiere was a good strong comeback. Viewers and critics seemed to enjoy it and the spoilers I’ve seen give me hope for season 3 and that some lessons were learned from season 2. I am optimistic that good buzz and the new uninterrupted schedule could give Once some legs this fall.

  18. jewlsg76 says:

    The numbers don’t take into account the markets where there were power outages like in Portland where we couldn’t record and will have to watch online. Not that we are a big market, but we also weren’t the only ones without power.

  19. Kaulbach Kurt-James says:

    There was too much on. Or are we going to speculate more?

  20. sarah says:

    That is too bad about Betrayal. First Pan Am then 666 and now I fear Betrayal will be cancelled.

  21. David4 says:

    Once was Good, OK and Bad all in the same episode. Sadly the weakest link in the show was everyone on the boat and that was the group of main characters.

    • Jane says:

      Exactly. If I had been Gold I would have left all of them also. I honestly am beginning to despise Snow. She is so goody-goody that I was hoping she would be washed overboard and we wouldn’t see her again. Emma can’t make a decision and then stick to it to save her (or anyone else’s) life. Charming just looks lost. Hook just doesn’t fit with these people and if Regina has any sense she’ll dump them all soon. I’m hoping Pan really is evil so that some life will be brought back to the show.

  22. FD says:

    What is Breaking Bad? Is that the meth show?

  23. Jared says:

    Shame about BETRAYAL. I really liked it!

  24. Ben says:

    Not Good for TGW.
    The premiere was really great. That would be a shame if that was its last season opener…

  25. Chris says:

    It’s possible that screwing around with season premiere schedules and dumping them practically into October is backfiring.

  26. greysfan says:

    Would have liked to see Once and Revenge’s numbers a bit higher but you know what Revenge is way up from its series lows it hit last season thanks to poor scheduling and ABC should be happy that it returned with a 2.4. Revenge is an awesome show and last night’s return brought back the season 1 vibe i had about the show. So much spark again. Once was great last night too. I loved the whole Neverland and was good to see Mulan and Aurora back too. Betrayal was crap.

  27. Amanda says:

    I just got into OUAT of the summer and would hate if I had to start worrying about it getting cancelled when I just found it.

  28. DavidSask says:

    I don’t think Once deserves the ratings it still gets with the way it treats viewers, plus Henry is the worst child ever in TV! Betrayed never should have been green-lit and deserves its cancellation asap! Breaking Bad ended predictably which saddens the hard core fans! Revenge I am willing to come back to but only if the new show-runners do correct the crap from last season, critics say they have so hope is true!

  29. Was watching “Breaking Bad” Will get back to my normal Sunday tv now. I think a lot of people were watching BB hence low viewing for other shows.

  30. Sarah says:

    I think this is proof. People can’t get enough Hook. Boo-yah!!! Awesome!!!

  31. barbara says:

    well were i live football ran over again makes it bad for goodwife and mentalist i can see why ratings down. why don’t they put the football on the sports channels