An evening of delayed premieres for the networks last week ended with a bang, a solid thump and a fizzle.
ABC, NBC and the CW all debuted new dramas last Wednesday to varied receptions. The bang went to the CW network and its fantasy series "Arrow," about a character who is a millionaire playboy by day and a vigilante at night. The 4.1 million viewers reported by Nielsen wouldn't seem much by larger network standards, but for the good-news-starved CW, it was the most-watched show since 2009.
ABC's "Nashville" was one of the year's best-reviewed new shows, and the nearly 9 million people who sampled its first episode made it the network's third most-watched drama. It finished a strong second behind CBS' long-running "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" at the 10 p.m. ET slot.
At the same time, NBC's new "Chicago Fire" might need a shot of lighter fluid. The new drama reached 6.6 million people with its premiere.
Despite that showing, long-slumping NBC can boast about its best showing for an early TV season in a decade. For the third week in a row, it won among the 18-to-49-year-old age demographic that it considers most important. Pro football and "The Voice" led the way.
Stalwart CBS, as it has most weeks, won among all viewers. Its Tuesday night one-two punch of "NCIS" and the spinoff "NCIS: Los Angeles" is the network's most popular.
CBS had an average of 9.7 million viewers in prime time (6.3 rating, 10 share). NBC had 8.1 million (5.0, 8), ABC had 8 million (5.2, 8), Fox had 6.1 million (3.7, 6), the CW had 2 million (1.2, 2) and ION Television had 1.1 million (0.6, 1).
Among the Spanish-language networks, Univision led with a 3.7 million prime-time average (2.0, 3). Telemundo had 1.1 million (0.6, 1), TeleFutura had 650,000 (0.2, 1), Estrella had 230,000 and Azteca 110,000 (both 0.1, 0).
NBC's "Nightly News" topped the evening newscasts with an average of 7.7 million viewers (5.2, 10). ABC's "World News" was second with 7.2 million (4.9, 10) and the "CBS Evening News" had 6.1 million viewers (4.2, 8).
A ratings point represents 1,147,000 households, or 1 percent of the nation's estimated 114.7 million TV homes. The share is the percentage of in-use televisions tuned to a given show.
For the week of Oct. 8-14, the top 10 shows, their networks and viewerships: NFL Football: Green Bay at Houston, NBC, 19.92 million; "NCIS," CBS, 18.51 million; "Sunday Night NFL Pre-Kick," NBC, 15.72 million; "NCIS: Los Angeles," CBS, 15.18 million; "The Big Bang Theory," CBS, 14.23 million; "Dancing With the Stars," ABC, 13.55 million; "Dancing With the Stars Results," ABC, 13.33 million; "The Voice" (Monday), NBC, 12.89 million; "Modern Family" (Wednesday, 9:30 p.m.), ABC, 12.31 million; "The Voice" (Tuesday), 12.19 million.
ABC is owned by The Walt Disney Co. CBS is owned by CBS Corp. CW is a joint venture of Warner Bros. Entertainment and CBS Corp. Fox and My Network TV are units of News Corp. NBC and Telemundo are owned by Comcast Corp. ION Television is owned by ION Media Networks. TeleFutura is a division of Univision. Azteca America is a wholly owned subsidiary of TV Azteca S.A. de C.V.