Update: “Glee” delivered a 2.0 adults 18-49 rating, which represents a significant decline from the 3.3 preliminary (and 3.1 final) rating for last season’s premiere. The hourlong telecast averaged 5.17 million viewers.
Earlier in the night, “The X Factor” posted a 2.1 with 6.38 million viewers.
Suffering from limited buzz, an ongoing erosion of fan goodwill and positioning in a very competitive timeslot, “Glee” opened its fifth season to very soft numbers.
According to TV Media Insights, Thursday’s “Glee” season premiere drew a 3.4 overnight metered market number (which is an approximation of the household rating rather than that of total viewers or the 18-49 demographic), which represents a sharp decline from last year’s 5.6.
Because last season’s “Glee” premiered two weeks ahead of the full fall slate, it naturally faced far less competition than this year’s bow. But even the first in-season episode of “Glee”‘s 2012-13 season, which did face demographically-relevant shows like “Grey’s Anatomy,” managed to outperform this week’s premiere number (it posted a 4.1 on 9/27/12).
Granted, last year’s competition had nothing on this year’s, which, in addition to “Grey’s,” included the highly-rated debuts of “The Crazy Ones,” “Two and a Half Men” and “The Michael J. Fox Show.” And in premiering with its weakest buzz and fan enthusiasm to date, Thursday’s “Glee,” part one of a tribute to The Beatles, did not stand a chance.
8PM lead-in “The X Factor” posted a 5.0 overnight number, which was down from the 6.4 it provided last year.
The additional competition and weaker lead-in are valid excuses, but given the undeniable reality that interest in “Glee” is the coolest it has ever been, they are not exhaustive excuses. “Glee,” itself, must assume blame for the soft debut.
Its performance in the adults 18-49 number, which might paint a slightly better picture than the metered market household approximations, will be available by noon.