Ratings: The Flash Hits the Ground Running, CW's Best Debut in 5 Years; ABC Sitcoms Tumble, POI Slips

Flash Premiere Ratings

Barry Allen is no Flash in the pan.

The CW’s new superhero series on Tuesday night debuted to 4.8 million total viewers and a 1.9 demo rating (per finals), marking the network’s most watched and highest rated series launch since The Vampire Diaries in 2009 (4.9 mil/2.1).

RELATED Grade The Flash‘s Premiere, Watch Thrilling New Trailer

The Flash‘s quick start — which TVLine readers gave an average grade of “A-“ — was up hugely from The Originals‘ year-ago premiere in the Tuesday lead-off spot (2 mil/0.9), and it even bested sire Arrow‘s own launch numbers (4.1 mil/1.3).

All told, it stands as The CW’s second-most watched series premiere ever (now lapping 90210) and third-highest rated in the demo.

With some Flash overrun now subtracted out, Supernatural (average grade: “B+”) was adjusted down to 2.5 million viewers and a 1.1 rating, on par with its finale and down a tenth from its previous premiere.

RELATED Supernatural Season 10 Premiere Recap: Karaoke’d Away


NBC | Leading out of a Voice clip show (9.1 mil/2.5), Chicago Fire (8.4 mil/2.1) dipped 3 percent and two tenths.

CBS | NCIS (17.3 mil/2.6) and NCIS: New Orleans (15.4 mil/2.3) both shed some eyeballs but were steady in the demo, while Person of Interest (9.6 mil/1.6) slipped 10 percent and two tenths.

ABC | Selfie (4 mil/1.2) dropped 25 percent, while Manhattan Love Story (3.2 mil/0.9) tumbled 32 and 40 percent. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (4.7 mil/1.7) slipped 8 percent and a tenth and Forever (5.4 mil/1.3) dipped 5 percent and a tenth.

RELATED The Mindy Project Recap: Butt Seriously…

FOX | A Family Guy rerun (2 mil/0.9) was up a tenth from Utopia‘s final Tuesday outing. New Girl (2.6 mil/1.4) added some eyeballs plus a tenth in the demo, while Mindy Project (2.2 mil/1.0) dipped a tenth.

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. justtobesane says:

    Congrats to The Flash! Loved the premiere, I hope it stays strong.

  2. Khalil says:

    Jackpot !

  3. Steven says:

    Holy crap! I was expecting a 1.2 at the most. This is amazing by CW standards.

  4. Elin says:

    That is awesome! :)

  5. Boiler says:

    I didn’t watch the show nor do I have anything against it just don’t like the genre. I do like Grant Gustin from his Glee appearances. However to get a 1.8 with “only” 4.5 million watching causes me concern as an older person. Oh well good luck to the show but hopefully CW doesn’t just do this genre.

    • Katherine215 says:

      What is your concern about the rating? It means not a lot of people watched, but those who did were of the crowd the networks’ advertisers covet. The CW is primarily a genre network; they had Smallville for eons, and they’ve had other types of shows from different genres.

      • Boiler says:

        I don’t have any concern about the rating per se. A 1.8 with only 4.5 million watching seems awfully good when you have shows with 10+ million getting less than that. As I am older and not really into this genre it just bothers me that I’ll lose shows I like such as Hart of Dixie, also on CW

    • Delante says:

      Yea for the CW still an newish network…those numbers are great

    • Well, CW is a youth oriented network, similar to MTV, focused on 18-34 or younger. Whereas CBS or TNT are in for the 25-54 crowd. The Flash is exactly the kind of show they should be doing when targeting this demo.

    • Gautam says:

      So in other words you don’t like superheroes and don’t want CW to make superhero shows?

  6. KN says:

    They’ll be a champagne jamboree at the CW offices this afternoon.

  7. Jon says:

    Wonder if the CW brass has opened the bubbly yet…

  8. wrstlgirl says:

    Not really surprised. I was expecting it to come out swinging much like Arrow did. Hopefully it can stay strong.

  9. cdhaskell says:

    I am glad that Flash was a winner. I can’t wait to read the show got renewal for the second season. I can’t wait to see how the writer will developed the character individual storyline.

  10. Jhene says:

    I’m surprised considering so many of us already saw the pilot when it leaked

    • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

      That’d be an interesting Venn diagram, Nielsen Households and People Who Seek Out Illegal Rips.

      • dan says:

        I’ve got into more things and spent more money because I first checked them out illegally than I can even recount, first and foremost owning every album Rory Gallagher ever put out.

      • Sara says:

        Haha yes! You cant even have them on the same page

      • Moment says:

        Illegal downloads are just a convenient way to explain flops. The most high profile in recent weeks being The Expendables 3.

      • cdhaskell says:

        I must be one of the few people who didn’t see the pilot before it was air on CW. I also still love the pilot. I can’t wait to see what will happened in the second episode.

    • Jon says:

      Well consider that everyone of us who watched the leaked version probably told ten of our friends how awesome it was and were very unlikely to be Nielsen box owners it’s not really that surprising.

    • justtobesane says:

      It will be interesting to see the ratings for the next episode. Most shows lose viewers after the pilot. But in this case the ratings could possibly increase if people who illegally watched the pilot tune in for the second episode. Maybe the people who saw the first episode before it aired were supportive enough to watch it live too. Hopefully The Flash can keep most of its viewers.

    • Ash says:

      I saw the leaked pilot and still watched it again because I wanted to see it in HD

  11. Katherine215 says:

    This is great news for The Flash, which I loved. Sad news for ABC, though. I really like Selfie and MLS (especially this one), but it looks like I’m the only one. Also, Forever needs to stop sliding!!! They should do a crossover with Castle, since it looks like the two shows are in the same universe.

    • Sarah T. says:

      I like Selfie too! I kept thinking it would work well on Fox paired with The Mindy Project.

      • S. says:

        Gag. It’s awful. As a Mindy fan, and having watched Selfie, it’s so not the same thing. Mindy’s self-aware as a show about the way she is and talks. Selfie’s not and is throwing out not so veiled criticism of an age group the writers imagine goes around saying ‘omg’ all day.

    • Paula says:

      I also like MLS, this episode was way strong than the pilot.

    • Abby says:

      You are not the only one! I love them too! I just wish that they had given Selfie a better title. I have tried to get other people to watch it, but they are turned off by the dumb moniker.

      Every fall is the worst. Just when you get attached to a show, it disappears forever.

    • Lizo says:

      ABC ought to put Forever on after Castle (which is how it airs in Canada actually). The two shows are incredibly similar, in the best way of course, and they feel kinda the same to watch. Which is why I liked Forever right from the start. They really ought to be paired together – and a crossover would be amazing!!

      • Katherine215 says:

        They should, but I doubt they’d move it earlier. That’s why I’m thinking a crossover would help. I have to think some portion of the Castle fans would see and appreciate the similarities and stick with Forever…please!

        • S. says:

          No way. Forever’s got supernatural elements to it, yes? That’s what I gathered. Castle may seem to sometimes but they always have a real world way of explaining it. The zombies aren’t really zombies, etc. Besides which, Ioan played a character on Castle already and not one the fans would care to see again, I promise. I watched a few minutes of Forever, didn’t see any similarities with Castle in tone. You don’t just do crossovers to shore up another show’s ratings.

          • cdhaskell says:

            I must agree with you about why the crossover idea between Castle and Forever wouldn’t. First Castle focus on the crime that could happened in the real world while Forever crime would have supernatural part in it and I don’t think that the writer would have a hard explain why the Forever heroes isn’t able to dies

      • RReg says:

        Forever is ok. If they make the male/female lead a couple, I will stop watching just as I did with Castle.

    • Drewer says:

      Yeah I thought I would hate MLS, but I sat threw it since I was watching Selfie and Shield, and I actually like it, I don’t think either of the comedies are flawless but the leads for both have really good chemistry that I would like to see more of.

      • Katherine215 says:

        You’re right, the leads in both do have good chemistry. I particularly enjoy Dana in MLS, mainly because weird technology stuff happens to me too and I’m kind of a klutz so it’s nice to see that portrayed in a cute way instead of…my dorky way, haha.

  12. RedReddington says:

    AOS and Forever :( *sad sigh*

  13. John says:

    C’mon! Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. was awesome last night!

  14. DL says:

    I was impressed with how enjoyable and well-executed the pilot was. Only flaw in the whole episode, for me, was the whole Iris dating the douchey cop thing, which felt unnecessarily arbitrary, just to drum up drama, but that’s overall a pretty minor complaint. I’ll certainly be tuning in next week, and I can guess a whole lot of others will be as well.

  15. Brandon says:

    I see what you did there with the sire line! Also, I’m stoked the show came out strong!

  16. Chris H says:

    Excellent numbers considering the pilot episode got leaked months back!

  17. Christina says:

    I love Agents of SHIELD, but damn. ABC is dying a long, slow death on Tuesdays.

  18. The Kaibosh says:

    I gotta say it turned out to be a lot better than I thought it might. Great news for the CW that they have a hit on their hands. We should be seeing Flash and Arrow crossovers for many years to come now.

    I gotta say this too however: I am F’n UP TO HERE with shows that start with “My Name Is….” Networks should have more faith in the intelligence of their viewers then perpetually think they have to force feed them expository openings all the time. Just sayin.

  19. Babybop says:

    Selfie was actually really funny yesterday. It’s a shame that people won’t give it a chance.

    • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

      It really was. Many belly laughs from me!

      • c-mo says:

        I enjoyed last night’s eps of both Selfie and MLS much more than I did their pilots, although the “thought bubble” comments on MLS are getting annoying.

      • John NYC says:

        Were their property rights issues that kept the title from being a more direct reference to the source?

        Though given the names of the lead characters that doesn’t seem likely….

  20. BrittBrat says:

    I’m glad The Flash did well! My ABC shows are falling really quickly. Definitely not happy about that one.

  21. I.R.E. says:

    Those two FOX Tuesday Night comedies need to move to a new FOX night ASAP for safety!

  22. Marianne says:

    Definitely not surprised by the dip on Manhattan Love Story. I watched last week and hated the characters and the writing was horrendous. NBC’s A to Z, which is similar, is so much better.

  23. Sarah T. says:

    That’s great for The Flash. I really enjoyed the premiere! I think it benefited that it was A) a little more recognizable “super” hero than the Green Arrow AND it had the added benefit of a crossover/push from the already well established Arrow.
    Methinks CW would handle Gotham better too. ;)
    Actually, I think the CW should seriously try to get a Wonder Woman pilot off the ground. I know this has been tried before and failed at another network but I think it would go over much better at the CW.
    The advantage to the CW is that people don’t take them as seriously as they do the big 4 (I don’t mean that as a dig to CW b/c I think it works in their favor when it comes to these type of shows.
    I’m a little bummed about Selfie though. I thought the show was funny, the 2nd episode was even better than the 1st. I’ve laughed more watching it than I have watching an episode of TBBT.

  24. Christian White says:

    I didn’t like it and I do NOT want to see it on my television anymore. I’m going to launch a petition for its cancellation. You should all stop watching as well.

  25. Ali Tuñón says:

    Best show in a looong time👍‼️THE FLASH ⚡️

  26. Drew says:

    Glad to see that The Flash did so well. It is nice that DC finally has on of its lighter characters on TV. It’s had a bit of a dark and gloomy reputation lately, just because the characters that get the most attention have been more serious characters. But Flash lets us smile a bit, which is nice. I’m eager to see how everyone settles into their roles and where the plot goes. I do think that it is strange to have the Flash world and the Arrow world so closely connected. I somehow can’t picture Oliver fighting Weather Wizard. Overall, solid premiere. I think that the show may actually appeal to more people than Arrow, since it is more fun. So it will probably eventually settle into the 2.5 or 3.0 area, ratings-wise.
    The fact that it actually beat Agents of SHIELD though, is shocking. For an CW show to beat an ABC show… that shouldn’t even be possible. I don’t think that Disney would wan to cancel their Marvel infomercial, but it is getting harder and harder for them to rationalize keeping it around.

  27. Gem1133 says:

    If the Flash is the CW’s third best premiere ever and Vampire Diaries was number one, what was number two???

  28. Stacey says:

    They need to put NCIS: LA behind NCIS: New Orleans on Tuesdays. And put Person of Interest on Monday nights. Flash was going to be big, now we shall see the retention potential for the show. ABC has made gains on Thursdays but is still suffering some…

  29. Sparky says:

    Wow nice job for their premiere. Hope it doesn’t fall off too much over the season. Next up Arrow. So much talk about the new season – I really hope that it translates to a significant boost in the ratings tonight. At least a 1.3 in the demo…

    • justtobesane says:

      Hopefully, The Flash will help renew interest in Arrow (especially with all the crossovers that they’re doing.) Barry in will in the season premiere of Arrow tonight so fans of The Flash should watch!

    • aunni says:

      yeah, arrow deserve a boost too. coz AK learned a lot on arrow, in terms of what is working n what is not. he incorporated the positives of arrow on flash. im a die hard arrow fan who is rooting for flash too..

      superhero shows r better than those puke worrhy vampire shows.

      all the best to both AK&MG

  30. Moment says:

    I think we all saw Selfie and Manhattan Love Storys demise coming. Also, I never imagined the CW could get so high, considering how mediocre a lot of stuff is doing on the network. The Flash saves the day :)

  31. Lara says:

    Am I the only one that loves the “Selfie” show?? I think it’s really funny. Coming from someone like me wo is addicted to social media, twitter, Instagram and Facebook, it is spot on and just hilarious.
    Hey, ABC hold on to this one just a bit longer…. PLEASE!

    • Ally Oop says:

      Nope, you’re not the only one. Even though I know its a sinking ship I keep watching because I really like it.

      • cdhaskell says:

        I love ABC Selfie and I am glad that the show is available on demand and I can see it anytime that I wanted. I hope that ABC will allow time for the show to grew in the rating department.

        • adri says:

          I really like Selfie and MLS…. I am really hoping they give them a chance… but I’m almost sure they won’t and that makes me so sad….

  32. Iakovos says:

    Was kind of rooting for MANHATTAN LOVE STORY so disappointed. I do not care for SELFIE. Glad for CW’s THE FLASH. I liked the John Wesley Shipp incarnation back in the day.

    • herman1959 says:

      I also admit to watching the JWS version (and Wonder Woman), but I have not watched any of CW’s shows until now. I like The Flash and I’ll be watching next week with my 12 y/o son – the 8 PM scheduling and less-violent content is better for tweens.

  33. George says:

    I wonder if NCIS New Orleans should be renamed NCIS Corn Pone. I have never seen 3 accomplished actors, with tears of experience work so hard to come across like the Dukes of Hazard, led by Roscoe P Coltraine. The writing for this show is almost an embarrassment, and I can see this the first of the NCIS types to bite the dust. I have to force my self to stay with the show, and not kill my series recordings. I stay because I like the actors involved, and have followed them through thick and thin; However, I think if the writers continue down the hee haw path, ehe crap will be too deep for me to wade through!

    • MiaS says:

      Huh, I guess the 15.4 million people watching must agree with you–oh wait, so far they don’t. So, in other words, you hate it but will stick with it because you like the cast, on the other hand, if the writing doesn’t improve to your high standards, the crap will be too hard to watch, so you will stop. Here’s a thought, stop watching now and spare the rest of the people who do like it from your whiny complaining. Smdh

    • Jake says:

      LOL, spot on. I like Bakula, but would never watch him do that phony “Loo-sy-ana” accent…

  34. Hipper says:

    ABC… time to rework your Tuesdays. It ain’t working. Sad that AOS is going down with this hot mess.

  35. john says:

    I’m not american so I don’t get the ratings too weel but is the 1.6 a good thing for poi when its on so late? I love the heck out of the show, it gets better and better each season, would hate to see it canned before it finishes its story.

  36. Selfie was so funny! why aren’t more people watching it??? It’s not put together well but there were so many fun scenes…Karen is great John cho is hillarious…

  37. Ram510 says:

    I didn’t realize Arrow skewed a little older than most CW shows

  38. N says:

    I loved Forever!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  39. Diego says:

    Come one Shield! It is soooo good!

  40. Ally Oop says:

    I watched only one show on Tuesday–Selfie.

  41. CJ says:

    I loved The Flash. The ensemble is great, and Grant Gustin is just so lovable as Barry Allen. I’m really, really looking forward to the rest of the season and I hope the strong ratings continue.

  42. Joey Padron says:

    Glad The Flash did great in the ratings for their first episode.

  43. murley says:

    Good news for the flash. I am a little worried about the mindy project and agents of shield though. Shield is sooooo good so far this season! I think it is one if the strongest returning shows and I am loving the storylines/character arcs for Fitz and Ward and really enjoying the new additions to the cast. Anyone who gave up early season 1, I strongly encourage you to give the show another shot. It has turned into one of my favorites!!

  44. FlashbeatVampirediaries says:

    Just saying that would’ve beaten Vampire Diaries if the first episode hadn’t been leaked. Quote me on this becaus the next news article will use it.

  45. Moment says:

    The Flash adjusted up to a 1.9, absolutely incredible. I know it won’t stay at this level throughout the season but this should have the CW rushing to get that back 9/10 episode order through and announced easily within a good week or so.

  46. karen says:

    I guess I don’t understand the numbers watching to the percent. Flash had 4.9 mil for a 2.1 NCIs had 17.3 for 2.6 is it viewers and percent per channel confusing

    • Moment says:

      Basically a lot of CBS shows with high viewership and low ish(Say a 1.3) 18-49 rating for example have a high amount of viewers over the age of 49. Shows that have say 4-5 million and say a 2.1 demo may have some under 18 viewers along with a whole bunch of 18-49 aged ones.

  47. RReg says:

    I prefer Flash to Arrow. It’s less dark and less soap operaish

  48. de says:

    I want to like Selfie and MLS and this week was better especially MLS. The leads are good, awkward and funny and the supporting cast is strong. Dad, brothers and sister relationship is interesting.

  49. michaelA says:

    WOW!! Terrific. What a class act by the CW to include John Wesleyship JR. who was the original Flash in the short lived but great 1989 Flash series. This has hit written all over it. Gonna watch it again tonight after the new season of Arrow.

  50. Very good for CW! Go theFlash!!!