TV executives went three full days without the live-plus-same-day Nielsen ratings they've all more or less blown off in recent years - and somehow half of Hollywood did not grind to a halt.
Despite the frantic tone by some covering the Nielsen Media delay, caused by an power outage at its Florida data collection facility, the week's ratings mystery was more or less greeted with shrugs and Liz Lemon eye rolls. And now that the numbers are starting to come in, there are at least a few noteworthy surprises.
Monday night was a bit of a coup for ABC. The network's two-hour Bachelor finale managed to outperform NBC's The Voice in head-to-head competition among adults 18-49. The dating show wrapped with a season high 2.7 rating among adults 18-49, pulling just 4 percent more young viewers than the typically dominant singing franchise. (The race for total viewers, however, was no contest - with The Voice topping The Bachelor by 3.8 million viewers with an average audience of 12.2 million.)
ABC managed to actually win the demo for the night, with its After the Final Rose (2.3 adults) special doubling the showing of NBC's Taken (1.2 adults). Either way you cut it, both ABC and NBC were heads above CBS and Fox.
Sunday was a different story. NBC earned top honors by a narrow margin, thanks in particular to another winning night for Little Big Shots. The variety-reality hybrid earned a 1.7 rating in the key demo and 10 million viewers, topping the night by both measures. (Lead-outs Chicago Justice (1.2 adults) and Shades of Blue (0.9 adults) were essentially steady.)
The CBS lineup of NCIS: Los Angeles, Madam Secretary and Elementary was reasonably steady - as was ABC's drama block, though that news was less auspicious for the latter. Freshman Time After Time limped in with a 0.6 rating among adults 18-49 and 2.3 million viewers, while the third iteration of American Crime kicked off its new night with just a 0.5 rating in the demo, losing well over half of its year-ago premiere.