This Is Us Premiere Ratings

Ratings: This Is Us Opens Strong, No. 2 for the Night; Bull Matches NCIS

NBC’s This Is Us debuted on Tuesday to 10.1 million total viewers and a 2.8 demo rating (per finals), doubling its closest time slot rival and delivering the Big 4’s highest-rated drama debut since last fall’s Supergirl.

It also marks NBC’s highest-rated scripted program in the time slot in more than six years, since an April 2010 episode of Parenthood. TVLine readers gave the premiere an average grade of “A-.”

Opening the Peacock’s night, The Voice did 12.3 mil and a 3.4, down just a tick from a year ago.

Elsewhere on Tuesday….

CBS | Despite solid reader reviews (average grade “B+”), NCIS (16 mil/2.2) opened Season 14 down from both a year ago (18.2 mil/2.5) and its May finale (18 mil/2.6). Michael Weatherly’s Bull (15.6 mil/2.2, average grade “B-“) in turn matched NCIS‘ rating. Relocated New Orleans (11.1 mil/1.4) was down sharply from its previous premiere (12.6 mil/1.7) and finale (13.3 mil/1.8), but improved on Limitless‘ Season 1 average (7 mil/1.3) in the time slot.

ABC | Leading out of DWTS (8.6 mil/1.5), Agents of SHIELD christened its new 10 pm home with 3.4 mil and a 1.1, up from its May finale (3 mil/1.0) as well as Wicked City‘s year-ago launch in the time slot (3.3 mil/0.9); readers gave the premiere an average grade of “B+.”

FOX | Brooklyn Nine-Nine (2.4 mil/1.1), New Girl (2.3 mil/1.2) and Scream Queens (2.17 mil/1.0) all returned up in the demo from their finales, though Scream Queens did so with its second-smallest audience ever (and an average “B” grade).

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

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  1. TheloNaGrapso says:

    1. That’s not the real time-slot for This is Us, if I’m not mistaken.
    2. It will probably lose a lot of viewers who were looking forward to getting blown away by the “twist” only to figure it out way before it happens.

    • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

      1. Correct, it moves to 9 o’clock starting Oct. 11.

      2. OK.

      • Diane Barton says:

        I knew that there was going to be a “twist” – based on something that I had read. I actually thought the wife would die after giving birth, leaving him with three babies to raise alone. I did not guess it – and there was nothing that triggered me to figure out what it really was. I was quite surprised when the firefighter spoke to the new dad, and that’s when it all came together for me. So far, this is my favorite new show. And I will continue to watch if the writing and acting continue to impress me.

    • DL says:

      Doubtful. I only heard there was a “twist” in the last few days. I certainly have a few guesses. But I’ve been looking forward to this show filling the Parenthood-sized hole in my viewing schedule for months now. Whether I keep tuning in is predicated entirely on whether or not it’s any good, not on the twist.

      • Annie Sisk says:

        Agreed, DL. I didn’t even know there was a twist until this morning (just watched it on Hulu) and I’d been planning to watch at least the first episode for several weeks on the basis of the strong buzz and positive critical reception. The twist was a nice moment, but it’s hardly the meat of the show.

        • TheloNaGrapso says:

          But without the “twist” (again so predictable I have to put air bunnies) it’s nothing new nor special, in fairness not many network shows are. Sure if you HAVE TO watch something at 9:00 on Tuesdays this might be the best option, Tuesday is a pretty soft night, unless you’re an NCIS style fan. But that’s not how people watch TV anymore, with DVRs, and Netflix etc.

          • Donna Salvi says:

            After one episode you can make that judgement call?

          • Annie Sisk says:

            Nah. It was a lovely family drama, and it promises to be well-crafted and achingly sincere. That may not be your cup of dark French roast, and that’s fine, but let’s not pretend there’s been anything completely “new” or unique in centuries – witness the old saw about “7 basic plots.” What’s new are the specific stories being told, and the way they’re told. The twist didn’t bring me to this show, and it’s not even close to being what’s going to bring me back next week or the week after that.

  2. Lola says:

    Really solid start from Bull. If I actually liked Dr.Phil I would give it a try.

  3. Sally Mander says:

    It’ll be interesting to see next week’s ratings for Bull.

    • TheloNaGrapso says:

      That can be said for all new shows (and you;re not incorrect by any means).

      • Writerpatrick says:

        Bull had a lot of interest from NCIS fans. But from what I’m reading, most of them don’t seem all that interested in Bull.

        • Erin says:

          I really enjoyed Bull. I don’t miss NCIS at all. It had become quite tedious for this long time fan when everything had to be about Gibbs angst and Tony was swept under the rug. I have high hopes that folks will give Bull a fair chance.

  4. Eric says:

    Sorry to see SHIELD and all the Fox shows doing so badly, as I love them all. But This Is Us was awesome, so I’m glad it drew a crowd. I hope people keep tuning in.

  5. Roxie says:

    BULL was horrible AND boring!! Big mistake for Michael Weatherly, whom I like immensely, but his character is smug, arrogant and not likable at all. Shudda stayed with NCIS.

    • Dmac says:

      That is what I thought as well. I gave it shot because if MW, but I can’t stand the character he plays

    • Lola says:

      So Roxie, MW nailed the role? You just described Dr.Phil perfectly. LOL!

    • ndixit says:

      Better to try something different at this stage of his life than stay stuck in the same role which hasn’t had any forward character development in a while. MW didn’t depart NCIS for Bull. He left because the character had no more room to grow within the constraints of the show. He got the offer for Bull after he had already announced his departure.

      • TheloNaGrapso says:

        So he goes to another formulaic case of the week show? I’d bet there were indications (maybe not an “offer”) before he announced.

    • rawley says:

      I truly don’t understand the appeal of a show that reminds viewers on a weekly basis that if you have a lot of money, you can get away with murder.

  6. Kevin K says:

    I choose This Is Us over Bull on Tuesday nights because the pilot almost brought me to tears and I cannot wait for next week’s episode and people are still talking about that end twist.

    • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

      No need to choose just yet, different time slots for another couple weeks. Just saving you some anxiety, “Kevin”!

    • Lala says:

      I was glad that no one had spoiled the twist at the end for me; never have a ever gotten teary eyed over a series premiere with characters I’m not even invested in. This is us is the show to watch this season.

      • Nero tTVFiddler says:

        The ending of the pilot for This Is Us was very good, and (at least for me), what made that ending so strong in part was the music score/song playing in the background for the final couple of minutes of the episode.

        For anyone who saw the pilot (or plans to) and would like to know more about that song, it is called ‘Watch Me’, by Labi Siffre, released way back in 1972! The song has a nice early ’70s feel-good ‘Bread/David Gates’, Almond Brothers/Sweet Melissa’ vibe to it… very good stuff.

  7. Sophie says:

    I have not watched Bull yet and am having a hard time even thinking about it. I am not a Dr. Phil fan and do not want Tony in that roll. I think it was a big mistake for him to leave NCIS.

    • ndixit says:

      Jeez. He’s not playing Dr. Phill. The only thing that is the same between Dr. Phill and Dr. Bull is that they are psychologists.

      • darkangel200 says:

        Exactly. But some just believe what they want I guess. Sheesh. And the cries that Weatherly should have stayed at NCIS? And what, wasted more years of his life put in pause mode?

      • TheloNaGrapso says:

        That’s how the show was marketed. I don’t care about that as much as the case of the week format. For my viewing habits that’s so 10-15 years ago.

  8. Guy says:

    Kinda glad to see Scream Queens with such a low rating. Still not sure why Fox renewed it in the first place since ratings weren’t all that great last year. It could’ve been such a fun show. But it’s so unbelievably poorly written, it’s not funny or scary, and has absolutely no wit. It completely misses the mark of what good satire should be.

    • CGS says:

      SQ was renewed because it made a ton of money due to its extreme success last year in social media, something advertisers for some strange reason pay for. Also FOX does not go by overnight ratings anymore, so your confusion is confusing.

      • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

        To be clear, Fox doesn’t report their overnight ratings anymore. There is a difference ;)

        • CGS says:

          A couple of weeks after they initially said they wouldn’t be reporting it they said they cared about the performance of a show over a few weeks and not just overnight. Then they started including online viewing figures in reports shortly after that so I stick by my comment. :)

          • Nero tTVfiddler says:

            Fair enough in your theory about the social media component to the numbers and how FOX is reporting (or not reporting) their audience numbers. However, I think there is probably a good number of reasons why SQ got renewed last spring, or picked up for this season, and numbers and social media may not be the full story… although we may agree to disagree on this.

            My theory is that any network, FOX in particular, wants to be in the ‘Ryan Murphy business.’ For anyone who saw the 2016 Emmy Awards telecast last Sunday, Ryan Murphy is the producer networks want (and need) to be in business with. There may come a time when Ryan Murphy and co. are ready to pilot their next project, and FOX will be front and center in wanting that next property. When that day comes, SQ may be the card that FOX plays to give SQ one final season in order to get that next RM property on the air. If Ryan Murphy’s name was not on SQ, it never would have reached the air. He was just coming off American Horror Story, and FOX wanted in.

  9. Ken says:

    wish Scream Queens was doing better ratings wise, even though i think its doing great creatively. Hopefully the social media aspect will carry it thru and maybe get a season 3.

  10. Cyn says:

    I’m liking Bull so far. In fact, I was surprised I liked it considering I can’t stand Dr. Phil. I’m glad Michael is spreading his wings, seeing that he has another show in development with the CW.

  11. ndixit says:

    Sad to see B99 doing so poorly. Come on people, it’s hilarious! AOS is on its last legs. They have a tendency to plummet through the season and starting at a 1.1 is not a good sign. Bull did well. Will be interesting to see how it holds. NCIS was down which I expected given MW’s departure. This is us did very well. I expected that given the hype. It will be interesting to see how it trends.

  12. Em says:

    NCIS was a little off. Didn’t really like the the two new people. Gave up on Bull 15 minutes int the show. Never have liked NCIS New Orleans

  13. Emily freeman says:

    Didn’t really care for the two people on NCIS. Lost interest I Bull 15 minutes into the show and never have liked NCIS New Orlean

  14. KLS says:

    I was surprised how NCIS:NO treated the “departure” of Brody. Usually when characters leave they get one or two mentions, but last night, she was mentioned all over the episode. I had to keep myself from yelling at the screen “she was fired, move on”!

  15. jerrired says:

    Glad to see that This is Us did so well. Hopefully it keeps it up, since NBC loves to cancel stuff if they show any signs of trouble. Also glad to see Agents of Shield is doing better. The 9 o clock slot might have been the smartest move for the show. Plus the Ghost Rider buzz.

  16. Jamie says:

    Glad to see This Is Us do well. I get that this is not everyone’s cup of tea, but the potential of the character writing is enormous, IMO. The actors were great, esp Milo. His scene in the hallway hearing about the fate of his children and wife was Emmy worthy. I’m looking forward to seeing how these lives intertwine over the years. A+ on my list of shows. And looking forward to Designated Survivor tonite.

  17. simoun says:

    As for the “twist,” I saw [spoiler alert] that Kate and Kevin were the twins of Jack and Rebecca. The fun twist was Randall being their adopted brother. I am looking forward to seeing the three interact as siblings which I think will not happen until a couple more episodes. Hooray for good TV! Add a little humor and it reminds me of Gilmore Girls.

  18. Pat says:

    I watched Bull last night, but the verdict is out if I will like this. I just watched This is Us and I was very impressed with it. I really liked how they intertwined the past with the present and I realized it, when I saw the fireman at the nursery window. I thought that was genius.

    • Diane Barton says:

      I agree! And that was the same moment when I realized the twist. What a great show!
      I have Bull on DVR and will watch it either tonight or tomorrow.
      So many new shows to watch!

  19. kmw says:

    Great for This is us, nice start. NCIS did what I thought it would and Bull being right with it isn’t a surprise. I hope Agents of Shield can stay with that demo considering what ABC has had there. And no surprise with FOX’s shows. They will all be clinging or dropping from those numbers.

  20. ann says:

    This is Us — I hated the comments about Christa McAuliffe and the Challenger. She still has family — how must they have felt, hearing what that character said? So tacky.


  22. Kayte CookWatts says:

    I think marketing it as a “twist” was a bit much- it was just good writing. It was a good show, not amazing. Two times the actor that played the young father pulled me out of the story with his over acting- the rest of the cast was great. Not sure about all the Parenthood hype- it’s too early to tell if it will be comparable.

  23. I’m very disappointed with Bull (no bull); even Michael Weatherly couldn’t save this one! Since there was so much bouncing around with the first episode, I may give it one more try but dont think the story line is strong enough. I was so looking forward to it :(