Update: The overnights actually provided a somewhat misleading perspective. While “Revolution” skewed younger than “Nashville” last season, the reverse was true Wednesday night. The latter, therefore, delivered a better adults 18-49 number (2.1 compared to 1.8 for “Revolution”) but less total viewers (6.6 million compared to 6.8 million for “Revolution”).
Neither performance is great, but NBC will be able to celebrate the fact that “Revolution” was only one tenth below its May average despite losing its “The Voice” lead-in, while ABC can point to one of its best “Nashville” ratings in a while.
That “Nashville” performance, however, benefited from a special “Modern Family” lead-in that it will not consistently receive moving forward.
Last year, “Revolution” premiered to monster ratings for NBC, while the more critically-acclaimed “Nashville” was so-so in its bow.
This year, both suffered big hits, at least as far as the overnight metered market ratings go.
“Revolution” has a reasonable excuse: it was relocated from a cushy post-“The Voice” timeslot to a lead-off position on Wednesday at 8PM. Its decline of 44% (to a 4.4 overnight) was nothing if not expected.
Certainly a large drop from last year’s opener, the number does, however, compare favorably to its late season one average. That at least buys “Revolution” a wait-and-see attitude regarding its ratings; a true assessment on its performance cannot be offered without the context of the adults 18-49 number, which will be available by noon.
Safer, however, is the notion that “Nashville” deserves panning for its performance. Despite receiving lead-in support from an hourlong “Modern Family,” the country music-themed soap, which also scored a 4.4, was down significantly from its series premiere and even down from last season’s finale.
And insofar as it skewed older than “Revolution” in season one, its performance in the demo will likely be weaker.