The new fall season is officially underway, with Monday night boasting the return of CBS’ “The Big Bang Theory” and NBC’s “The Voice,” which offered solid launchpads for new comedies “Kevin Can Wait” and “The Good Place.”
“The Big Bang Theory” was, as expected, the night’s top-rated show, debuting its tenth season to a 3.6 rating among adults 18-49 and 15.4 million total viewers, according to Nielsen overnight ratings. Those numbers were down 23% and 15%, respectively, from last year’s season-nine premiere. New Kevin James comedy “Kevin Can Wait” followed at 8:30 p.m. with a 2.6 and 11.2 million total viewers, even in the demo with and down one tenth of a point from the series premiere of “Life in Pieces” in the same post-“Big Bang Theory” time period last fall. An encouraging sign for CBS: “Kevin” retained a higher percentage of the “Big Bang” audience than “Life” did. The second and final part of documentary series “The Case Of: JonBenet Ramsey” drew a 1.8 and 8.3 million viewers, down 14% and 19% from Sunday night’s part one.
NBC’s “The Voice” debuted its new cycle withe new judges Miley Cyrus and Alicia Keys to a 3.3 and 12 million viewers, down 6% and 3% from last fall’s premiere. At 10 p.m., “The Good Place” opened to a solid 2.3 and 8.1 million total viewers at 10 p.m. Those number was down significantly from what “The Blind Spot” did following the “Voice” premiere last fall, but they still represent a strong sampling for the Mike Schur-produced comedy, which will migrate to a tough 8:30 p.m. Thursday time period.
NBC was the night’s top broadcaster, averaging a 3.0 rating and 10 share. CBS finished second with a 2.3 / 8. ABC followed with a 1.4 / 5. “Dancing With the Stars” drew a 1.7 and 10.6 million viewers. The season finale of “Match Game” followed with a 0.9 and 4.7 million.
“Gotham” slid in its season premiere on Fox, down 25% from in the demo and and 17% in total viewers from last fall’s debut with a 1.2 and 3.8 million. “Lucifer” at 9 p.m. outperformed its lead-in with a 1.3 and 4.4 million viewers. Those numbers were down precipitously from January’s series premiere, but that episode had the benefit of drafting off “The X-Files,” rather than being saddled with an underperforming lead-in. Fox finished fourth among broadcasters with a 1.3 / 4. The CW averaged a 0.3 / 1 with reruns.