Update: Not accounting for the precise skew, the overnight numbers painted far too optimistic a picture of NBC’s new Sunday night lineup.
After scoring a solid sample for its post-“The Voice” premiere Monday, “Believe” sank to a 1.4 adults 18-49 rating in its regular Sunday at 9PM timeslot. Its average audience of 6.5 million did, however, rank as the network’s best number (for an entertainment series) in the slot since January 5, 2013.
Not impressive in a vacuum, the 10PM premiere of “Crisis” nonetheless deserves credit for building on its “Believe” lead-in. Its 1.6 adults 18-49 rating ranked second in the timeslot behind ABC’s “Revenge” (1.7).
“Crisis,” which also drew 6.5 million viewers (an 14-month timeslot high for an NBC entertainment series), ranked number one for the time period in adults 25-54.
Assessment of NBC’s new Sunday lineup hinges on the network’s truest scheduling objective.
If NBC were looking for blockbuster drama launches on the level of ABC’s “Resurrection” or its own “The Blacklist,” its two premieres–a time period debut for “Believe” and a series opener for “Crisis”–were not successful.
Both posted modest 4.5 overnight household ratings. For “Believe,” that marked a whopping 34% decline from the show’s post-“The Voice” debut Monday. For “Crisis,” it offers pessimism about the show’s chances of growing into a big hit.
If the goal, instead, was to improve the state of its Sunday lineup, success remains within the network’s reach. It is unclear how the two dramas will fare in the coming weeks, but this week’s performances rank as NBC’s best entertainment series showings in the 9PM and 10PM timeslots since January 2013.
“Believe” delivered that result against heavy competition from “Resurrection” and AMC’s monster “The Walking Dead.” “Crisis” then did so without the kind of massive lead-in support preferably offered to series launches.
The key, now, will be to see how the two performed in adults 18-49 (numbers due by 11:30AM). “Believe” surely lost to “Resurrection” but might have defeated FOX’s “Cosmos” and CBS’ “The Good Wife.” And depending on its skew, there is a chance “Crisis” edged ABC’s “Revenge” and CBS’ “The Mentalist” to rank as the top-rated show on network TV.