Ratings: NBC’s ‘Little Big Shots’ Even More Impressive Sunday, Nears 15 Million Viewers

By: Rick Kissell

Senior Editor

Courtesy of NBC

Courtesy of NBC

One week after a special preview episode of “Little Big Shots” airing behind “The Voice” delivered surprisingly strong numbers, the NBC alternative series was even more impressive in its regular timeslot bow Sunday. In fact, it basically matched last Tuesday’s demo average while rising to nearly 15 million total viewers, making it the dominant broadcast program of the night.

According to preliminary national estimates from Nielsen, NBC was the broadcast leader in key demos Sunday, opening with an encore of last week’s “Little Big Shots” preview episode (1.2/4 in 18-49, 8.0 million viewers overall). It was followed by the timeslot debut of the Steve Harvey-hosted series (2.8/9 in 18-49, 14.8 million viewers overall), which beat the combined young-adult audience of chief timeslot competitors “Once Upon a Time” on ABC and comedies on Fox.

Compared with last week’s preview (2.9/10 in 18-49, 12.81 million viewers overall) logged the best 18-49 rating for an alternative series premiere since Fox’s “The X-Factor” in 2011, “Little Big Shots” was basically even in 18-49 (2.8 vs. 2.9), up 16% in total viewers (14.8 million vs. 12.8 million). It became NBC’s most-watched regularly scheduled Sunday entertainment telecast in 11 years (since “Law & Order: Criminal Intent” in March 2005). And among all regular-timeslot series debut, last night’s “Little Big Shots” was the most-watched since the September 2014 launch of CBS’ “NCIS: New Orleans” (17.37 million).

Following “Little Big Shots,” the timeslot premiere of “The Carmichael Show” averaged a 1.5/4 in 18-49 and 6.7 million viewers overall in the 9 o’clock half-hour, winning among the broadcast networks in both categories. These are series highs for the young show, which premiered last summer, topping its prior high in 18-49 by 25% (1.5 vs. 1.2).

A second “Carmichael” fell to a 1.1/3 in 18-49 and 4.6 million viewers overall, and the night concluded with an original episode of “Hollywood Game Night” in its new timeslot (0.9/3 in 18-49, 3.4 million viewers overall). Starting next week, new comedy “Crowded” will air at 9:30 p.m. between “Carmichael” and “Hollywood Game Night.”

Overall in both 18-49 and total viewers, NBC notched its first outright wins over its broadcast rivals on a Sunday with a full night of regular programming since the spring 0f 2004 (“Dateline,” “Law & Order: Criminal Intent” and “Crossing Jordan.”

ABC opened with “America’s Funniest Home Videos” (1.1/4 in 18-49, 5.7 million viewers overall), followed by steady numbers for its drama lineup of “Once Upon a Time” (1.3/4 in 18-49, 4.3 million viewers overall), “The Family” (0.8/2 in 18-49, 3.6 million viewers overall) and “Quantico” (1.1/3 in 18-49, 3.9 million viewers overall). The dramas were certainly underwhelming in their debuts last week, so consider it a positive that they didn’t fall from there in their second outings; each show also edged up in total viewers.

In its timeslot premiere last week (first episode since a special Thursday preview), “The Family” spiked 61% in 18-49 rating (0.84 to 1.35) and about 50% in total viewers (3.13 million to 4.67 million) when going from same-day to “live plus-3,” which is inclusive of three days’ worth of time-shifted viewing and VOD where available. It was last Sunday’s second biggest percentage gainer in 18-49, behind only “Quantico,” which surged about 90% in the demo (1.11 to 2.09) and 75% in total viewers (3.75 million to 6.56 million). Last week’s “Quantico,” with with its first episode back since a solid rookie-season launch last fall, stood as the night’s No. 1 broadcast in 18-49 after ranking sixth in same-day numbers.

CBS opened its night with the end of the NCAA college basketball selection show (1.4/5 in 18-49, 6.6 million viewers overall from 7 to 7:30 p.m.), with “60 Minutes” following at 7:30 p.m. (1.2/4 in 18-49, 8.0 million viewers overall). A special 90-minute, off-night repeat of “Scorpion” aired at 8:30 p.m. (0.7/2 in 18-49, 4.9 million viewers overall), and the night concluded with the season finale of “CSI: Cyber” (1.0/3 in 18-49, 6.4 million viewers overall). Starting next week, “Elementary” premieres at 10 p.m., having moved over from Thursdays.

Fox was mostly in line with last week with its six-comedy lineup of “Bordertown” (0.8/3 in 18-49, 2.2 million viewers overall), “Bob’s Burgers” (1.0/4 in 18-49, 2.3 million viewers overall), “The Simpsons” (1.3/4 in 18-49, 3.0 million viewers overall), “Cooper Barrett’s Guide to Surviving Life” (0.8/3 in 18-49, 2.0 million viewers overall), “Family Guy” (1.4/4 in 18-49, 3.0 million viewers overall) and “The Last Man on Earth” (1.1/3 in 18-49, 2.6 million viewers overall). “Family Guy” was up a tick week to week for its top 18-49 rating since Jan. 17.