For these top 10 lists, I've weeded out the CW, Saturday shows, and sports pre-game stuff. The "TIMESLOT" lists compare only this premiere week vs. last year's premiere week, while the "SHOW" lists compare season premieres vs. season premieres (including many premieres that were before or after the premiere week last year).
Top 10 TIMESLOT Improvements:
1. Grey's Anatomy (vs. Agents of SHIELD (R)) +158%
2. Family Guy (vs. Family Guy/American Dad!) +91%
3. Thursday Night Football (vs. The Big Bang Theory/The Crazy Ones/Two and a Half Men/Elementary) +76%
4. The Big Bang Theory (vs. How I Met Your Mother) +48%
5. Forever (vs. Lucky 7) +44%
6. Once Upon a Time (vs. itself) +42%
7. The Simpsons (vs. itself) +34%
8. 20/20 (vs. itself) +23%
9. Shark Tank (vs. Last Man Standing/The Neighbors/Shark Tank) +23%
10. Scorpion (vs. 2 Broke Girls/Mom) +21%
Grey's number wouldn't have been so gaudy if compared against, say, the premiere of Once Upon a Time in Wonderland last year. But once we start comparing where Grey's settles vs. where Wonderland settled, it may end up back in this general vicinity.
Forever and Scorpion were the only two newbies on this list, and both of them became even bigger timeslot improvements in week two. Even with Forever's big week two drop, it benefited because Lucky 7 totally melted down in week two.
Top 10 SHOW Improvements:
1. Family Guy +73%
2. Once Upon a Time +42%
3. The Simpsons +34%
4. 20/20 +23%
5. Scandal +8%
6. Dateline Fri +8%
7. Shark Tank +6%
8. Survivor +4%
t-9. Brooklyn Nine-Nine (Sun 8:30 vs. Tue 8:30) +0%
t-9. 48 Hours +0%
Top 10 TIMESLOT Declines:
1. Sleepy Hollow (R) (vs. Glee) -70%
2. Dancing with the Stars Tue (vs. Agents of SHIELD) -63%
3. Red Band Society (vs. The X Factor) -58%
4. Utopia Fri (vs. MasterChef Junior) -58%
5. Utopia Tue (vs. Dads/Brooklyn Nine-Nine) -52%
6. Hell's Kitchen (vs. The X Factor) -48%
7. Sleepy Hollow (vs. itself) -45%
8. New Girl (vs. itself) -38%
9. Chicago PD (vs. Law and Order: SVU) -34%
10. The Mindy Project (vs. itself) -33%
This is a lot of Fox.
A couple notable declines that just missed the list: the two ends of CBS' Amazing Race move (Fri 8/7c with TAR and Sun 8/7c with Madam Secretary) were down 31%/30% respectively. Not the trend CBS was looking for out of that swap.
Top 10 SHOW Declines:
1. Agents of SHIELD -55%
2. The Amazing Race (Fri 8:00 vs. Sun 8:00) -45%
3. Sleepy Hollow -43%
4. New Girl -41%
5. CSI (Sun 10:00 vs. Wed 10:00) -35%
6. Revenge (Sun 10:00 vs. Sun 9:00) -35%
7. Resurrection -34%
8. The Mindy Project -32%
9. Bones (Thu 8:00 vs. Mon 8:00) -30%
10. Blue Bloods -29%
Nielsen's official numbers were NBC 3.0, CBS 2.4, ABC 2.2, Fox 2.0. From what I can tell, CBS is being allowed to count the combined CBS/NFLN numbers for Thursday Night Football in the CBS network averages. So I'm doing that throughout this post, mostly because it's a logistical hassle to do it the other way. But it is very much worth keeping in mind, as it adds 0.1-0.2 to the CBS average every week.
Here's a table with the year-to-year trend for each network on each night of opening week:
|Premiere Week y2y||ABC||CBS||NBC||Fox||CW||Total|
The extent of Fox's nightmare from Tuesday through Friday was truly amazing, down by 40%+ for four straight nights. And it's not like Saturday (a 0.4 football game vs. last year's 0.5 football game) was really any better.
Here's how it looked using just original non-sports series:
|2013-14 Week 1||98||96||117||88||12|
If you want ABC to emerge as the original non-sports champ of the season, something they've never done in the A18-49+ era, there certainly seems to be a path here. Last year, it dropped only two relative points from premiere week to season's end despite a premiere week event (the Agents of SHIELD premiere) that may have been more inflated than anything they did this year. CBS will get stronger, as they always do, and NBC will probably come down at least somewehat. I'd say none of those three should be counted out yet.
As for Fox? Well... they were at a 66 until their huge Sunday. Sunday always helps Fox, but for an apples-to-apples comparison, they were at 82 prior to Sunday of premiere week last year. So sustaining the even year-to-year in Plus pace would be a miracle.