MacGyver Ratings

Ratings: MacGyver Debuts With a Bang, 11-Year Audience High for Time Slot

Using little more than tin foil, plaster dust and three paper clips, CBS’ MacGyver opened big on Friday, drawing 10.9 million total viewers and a 1.7 demo rating (per finals), easily outperforming The Amazing Race‘s year-ago premiere in the time slot (5.8 mil/1.2) and dominating the night in both measures.

All told, MacGyver gave CBS its biggest audience in the Friday lead-off spot in 11 years (Ghost Whisperer) and its best demo number in nearly four (Undercover Boss). Of Premiere Week’s drama launches, it drew the second-largest audience (behind Bull) and third-highest rating.  TVLine readers gave the pilot an average grade of “C+.”

Hawaii Five-0 in turn returned to its best numbers since Feb. 20, 2015 and Jan. 22, 2016, respectively — 10.2 mil and a 1.4, up 22 and 40 percent from its year-ago premiere. Blue Bloods (10.6 mil/1.3) returned up from its finale, matching its previous opener.

Friday’s other drama debut, Fox’s The Exorcist, did 2.9 mil and a 1.0 leading out of Hell’s Kitchen (3.4 mil.1.1), marking the least watched, lowest rated series premiere thus far of the Fall TV season. Readers gave the horror-thriller an average grade of “B.”

RELATED Fall TV Polls: Grade This Year’s Series Premieres

Over on ABC, Last Man Standing (6 mil/1.1) matched its previous premiere. Dr. Ken (4 mil/0.9) was down sharply from its year-ago launch (6.7 mil/1.5) but on par with its freshman finale.  Shark Tank (5 mil/1.1) dropped 20 and 35 percent from its previous premiere, marking its lowest Friday numbers in… a very long time.

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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65 Comments
  1. Mika says:

    The real test is going to be after first week sampling of new shows.

  2. Diane says:

    Crap I forgot about The Exorcist.

  3. Kevin K says:

    Hope MacGyver will fall in numbers next week. No complaining

    • wrstlgirl says:

      Mind if I ask why? I mean simple solution would be to just not watch it if you don’t like it. What purpose does it serve to wish complete failure.

      • jericho says:

        Let me answer why I want it to tank… Because it may make another network think twice about greenlighting another remake. We have had 2 types of remakes by the ton the last several years. Movie remakes and Nostalgia remakes. H50 has been the only real success story and MacGyver definitely doesnt deserve to be one.

        • Colleen says:

          Thank you Jericho! Sometimes I feel like there is no original TV program idea left. If it’s not a ” remake” it is a ” redo” of a similar show with a few changes. I feel like there’s nothing new to watch.

        • TV Gord says:

          Without remake attempts, we never would have had M*A*S*H or Friday Night Lights or Parenthood or Battlestar Galactica or Buffy The Vampire Slayer. I could go on…

          • Lea says:

            Buffy wasn’t a remake. It was a continuation of the movie done by the same guy.

          • TV Gord says:

            The movie and the film are unrelated, and the series is in no way a continuation of the movie. Buffy was a senior in the movie and a sophomore in the series. She has disinterested parents in the movie and a very caring mom in the series. The vamps didn’t even die the same way.

            There are many differences between the two that the series is clearly a reboot of the concept. Joss famously didn’t like the direction of the film, which was part of his motivation for getting it right with the series.

      • Temperance says:

        Because it takes up a slot for something potentially good.

        • Sammy says:

          Nonsense nonsense and more nonsense…. when networks air original shows no one watches and when they air reboots people don’t want to watch it because they want original shows.

          Secondly if you are so annoyed by remakes… go and become a writer and creator of shows in Hollywood and thrill us with your unending stream of original never before seen shows. Please do. I am waiting with baited breath.

        • wrstlgirl says:

          Easy answer. Does CBS have anything “potentially better” to put there. For me personally I didn’t think it was that bad. I’ve seen wayyyyyy worse.

        • TV Gord says:

          For a long time all that was in this time slot were reality shows and reruns. Any way you look at it, this is a step up.

      • JG says:

        Once an imbecile always an imbecile.

  4. Sheila says:

    MacGyver was ok. Hawaii 5-0 was strange. McGarret spoke to a man at a church in the first part of the show. The man looked animated. I expected him to transform into a cgi werewolf. His speech was affected. That episode should have been trashed. I wonder why that was done and what happened.

    • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

      That was a CGI’d Jack Lord aka Steve McGarrett on the original H50.

      • wrstlgirl says:

        I thought that was pretty cool actually.

      • MMD says:

        Was that the answer to the blind item? I seem to remember that it was not a CBS show but I have been known to be wrong.

        • ninamags says:

          I wondered the same thing!!!

          I literally saw it and my mouth hung open for a few seconds.

          The Original Steve McGarrett!!!!! That was cool.

          • Linda H says:

            MacGyver was good. Love George Eads! MacGyver is plain Jane but OK. Hawaii 5 O kicked it!! Great action and story. My favorite for that Night. Friday has been crap TV ax is Saturday night. Love Tom Selleck or wouldn’t watch.

        • If the Blind item is not a CBS show then all that’s left to premiere in September are Once Upon a Time, Secrets and Lies, Quantico,and the Fox Comedy block. If CBS is in play the only show left is NCIS: Los Angeles. My money is on Quantico which for me would be disappointing because the only shows left in the running I watch are OUAT and The Simpsons.

          • I forgot Code Black and Criminal Minds but I doubt they are the blind item. Rob Lowe is already stunt casting adding another big name would just reinforce the anger over firing two of the shows leads, and Criminal Minds has had it’s production too public to hide a casting stunt in the wake of firing Thomas Gibson.

        • Joan says:

          Apparently the Blind Item was Jon Hamm on Last Man On Earth.

      • Sheila says:

        Thanks so much for the info! I never saw the original H50.

    • KLS says:

      I thought it was pretty cheesy/creepy. A lot of money spent for a gimmick that didn’t work for me.

  5. BOGS2002 says:

    MacGyver was boring and predictable, next week the numbers will fall 50%.
    H50 was unreasonably gruesome. Plus the writers were lazy, didn’t have enough words so they replaced half of the episode with a chase. And it was not a very good one.

  6. The real test comes in the coming weeks how far will it bottom out.

  7. Jimbo says:

    CBS can air literally anything.

  8. Ken says:

    Wow, really low numbers for the Exorcist and it was actually incredible. Fox did a disservice putting it on Friday nights. Well there goes the first of my favorite new shows.

  9. Derek117 says:

    This proves that audiences want to see a reboot of tech genius MacGyver. Hopefully, the scripts improve or the ratings are going hit rock bottom fast.

  10. Writerpatrick says:

    There are a lot of fans of the original show who checked it out. It probably did better than the network expected considering they stuck it on a Friday.

  11. Jeff says:

    According to IMDB, there is only 5 episodes of the new MacGyver (not sure if that’s entirely accurate). It is clear from the actors involved that the production company footed a hefty bill in hopes of getting something great. Sadly, looking at the 5 episode order, and the fact that it’s on a Friday night, I’m betting the rest of the episodes are just as bad, if not worse, as last night.

    • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

      Chimpanzees can edit IMDb. It has a 13-episode order like any other freshman show, eligible for a back 9 in success.

      • johnhelvete says:

        I thought it was common knowledge that imdb is grossly inaccurate for information about new TV series. One of my favorite mistakes that imdb makes is when they list the lead actor as being in only 1-2 episodes while supporting actors are listed in being in the entire season (Claire Foy is currently listed as being in two episodes of the Crown).

        Speaking of initial 13 episode order for freshman shows. As far as you know, do the networks had to pay a penalty for all of the shows that had 13 episode orders that were trimmed and produced 9-11 episodes last season (Minority Report, Blood&Oil, The Player, Truth be Told, Telenovela, Superstore, Second Chance)? Or do they get to walk away without a penalty for not producing the 13 episodes that were ordered?

        • tvlover27 says:

          Pretty sure telenovela, super store which has even right now been renewed for an extended s2. And second chance did the whole 13 episode thing yes the others failed to pass 10 including of kings and prophets 2 episodes and wicked something like that from abc’s death slot which did, I think 3 episodes those I believe cost the different networks a lot of money! We have seen though that the only pilots that really survive must get strong leads in…fox with empire, NBC with the voice, ABC anytime near the shonda hours and CBS near NCIS for other pilots anything goes.

    • John NYC says:

      The “5” after the actors may refer to how many have been shot to date.

  12. Was this week old cameo week? First Bud Roberts on Jag and now Steve Lord on H50

  13. Guy says:

    Really was not expecting much of The Exorcist but I was pretty surprised. Definitely a solid premiere with potential moving forward. Too bad about the low ratings. I’ll still check it out next week.

  14. Coal says:

    In this new “age” of T.V watching I guess any new show that gets a 1.7 demo rating is considered gold ? I doubt we will ever see the kind of run that Empire had when it began, probably the whole Nielsen system should have taken the victory and quit right then.

  15. HAP says:

    What fascinates me about the tune-in is that a number of critics suggested people not waste their time watching this. And it’s clear that the TVline readers only gave it a tepid grade.

  16. Piers says:

    I loved MacG. It fills the hole left by Human target. Enjoyed the informational chyron when he’s doing his thing. George Eads makes a terrific second banana and the banter between them is very Clooney/Pitt. Well done.

  17. Colleen says:

    I was disappointed with the much advertised debut of “This is Us”. Truthfully I watched the show because I am a fan of Justin Hartley’s based on his performances on the Young and the Restless and Revenge. In future weeks I am not sure ratings will continue to soar. I thought the show was mediocre, much overrated.

    • Piers says:

      Thank you! IMO it was full of wrong messages. The foundling child turned out great at the expense of the two natural children? The natural son is an angry, angst ridden actor and the daughter is a compulsive glutton? Is the subliminal message that it takes white parents to raise a productive black child? On the really being nit picky side, a black child raised in a white home wouldn’t sound black. The cast was good and Gerald MacRaney was exceptional, but the show was a mess.

  18. kmw says:

    Well CBS had a good night. Poor Exorcist should have been given a better slot than that. I don’t know how long MacGyver can hold those numbers but way better than I thought

  19. Wayne Roy says:

    What happened to the iconic opening theme music?

  20. Tomm Huntre says:

    CGI Steve McG will never be as odd as the faux Iron Man type suit from last season. True story

  21. Linda H says:

    MacGyver was good. Love George Eads! MacGyver is plain Jane but OK. Hawaii 5 O kicked it!! Great action and story. My favorite for that Night. Friday has been crap TV ax is Saturday night. Love Tom Selleck or wouldn’t watch.

  22. Shane Abbott says:

    MacGyver was good. It is a 2016 version not 1987. I will give it a go.

    It takes a season for a show to get its footing. Can’t compare the new and old versions for MacGyver or H50. There are so many bad shows on TV in general.

  23. Linda H says:

    I love NCIS so no matter where it is I will watch. Not fan of the blonde. Bull sucks but Weatherly still cute. NCIS New Orleans I like but Brody got cut and they should have cut short girl and wheel chair guy. Vanessa fro m Graceland will be good. Blue Bloods is sucky but for Selleck. Dancing With Stars I must watch. Rest of the horror stuff is a no!

  24. Timothy Baxter says:

    I really liked MacGyver! It had some good unexpected plot twists! very well acted as well !

  25. I watched McGyver and Hawaii Five-0. I enjoyed them both. I wasn’t too impressed with the reenactment of McGarrett, but thought the rest of the episode was fine. I really, really enjoyed the original series of both shows. I also am looking forward to next week.
    As for remakes, Don’t you consider Hawaii Five-0 also a remake? You should. Both are remakes of older shows. I liked both shows last night. Whoever wants the show(s) to tank maybe just shouldn’t watch them.

  26. Christy says:

    i think macgyver tried a little too hard to be flashy, but i still love a good action show lol
    but anyway im gonna keep watching bc im sure they’ll get the kinks worked out throughout the season, most pilots are terrible lol

  27. V says:

    Sorry, but I can’t buy this actor as MacGuyver. He looks about 14 and like he should be out skateboarding somewhere. Sorry, CBS, but I won’t be tuning in next week for this show.

    • WingsStef says:

      I haven’t seen the show yet but somewhat curious. Still he doesn’t look 14. Granted he doesn’t look old either. It’s just with child labor laws that sometimes 26 year olds play 15 year olds in tv.

    • Eric Fischer says:

      “can’t buy this actor as MacGuyver. He looks about 14”
      Riiiight! Just something off about the casting. Maybe it is the surfer look.

    • MelissaFormari says:

      Exactly the same here, this child should to be parading on the catwalk in Milan or posing for model. But being MacGyver, is an insult.

  28. Susan Dietz says:

    I never watched the original and wanted to like this reboot because George Eads was in it. I’m sorry to say it was really, really bad. George Eads & Lucas Till were great but the writing was juvenile, the handheld camera work made me dizzy and telling the audience (with words written on the screen about what and why MacGyver was using the items he had) made me think the writers thought I was an idiot. I’m not and don’t appreciate the implication.

  29. JG says:

    WTF FIVE 0 premiere. What a SICK episode.