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“The Blacklist” Ratings Dominate “Hostages” on Premiere Night

Update: Fueled by heavy promotion and strong lead-in support from “The Voice” (4.9 rating, 14.7 million viewers), the premiere of NBC’s “The Blacklist” blew CBS’ “Hostages” out of the water.

NBC’s James Spader vehicle garnered an impressive 3.8 adults 18-49 rating, down only slightly from last year’s “Revolution” premiere, with 12.6 million viewers.

Strong in most respects, the one downside is that “The Blacklist” lost an ample amount of young adult viewers; it slipped from a 4.1 rating to a 3.5 at the halfway point. Inevitable, to a degree, given the percentage of uninterested “Voice” viewers who were present for the first few minutes of “Blacklist,” it is nevertheless an undesirable trending pattern.

“Hostages,” meanwhile, stumbled out of the gate in all respects with a soft 1.8 rating and 7.48 million viewers. Its half hours clocked in at a 2.0 and 1.7.

In one of the strangest scheduling moves of the season, CBS opted to position its aggressively-hyped limited series “Hostages” against NBC’s hotly-anticipated “The Blacklist.”

It is surely regretting that decision.

Based on the overnight metered market ratings, “The Blacklist” won in a landslide. Leading out of a predictably-strong “The Voice” (9.2), “Blacklist” garnered a 8.0 metered market number.

A slight improvement over the premiere for last year’s “Revolution,” which drew a 7.9 in the overnights, “Blacklist”‘s number easily topped the 5.1 for CBS’ “Hostages.”

To the credit of the CBS thriller, it received only modest lead-in support from heavily-hyped new comedy “Mom” (5.5). But given its difference in target audience, CBS was certainly counting on “Hostages” to be something of a self-starter, and its middling Monday performance reveals it was not up to the task.

While these numbers reflect rough household ratings, the differential in adults 18-49 is expected to be at least as favorable for “The Blacklist.”

Written by Brian Cantor

Brian Cantor is the editor-in-chief for Headline Planet. He has been a leading reporter in the music, movie, television and sporting spaces since 2002.

Brian's reporting has been cited by major websites like BuzzFeed, Billboard, the New Yorker and The Fader -- and shared by celebrities like Taylor Swift, Justin Bieber and Nicki Minaj.

Contact Brian at brian.cantor[at]


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