The season premiere of NBC’s “Manifest” technically tied a series low in adults 18-49, while setting a new low in overall viewership. The performance was not, however, as negative as that statistic suggests.
According to fast national data posted by Showbuzz, Monday’s season two premiere drew a 0.9 adults 18-49 rating and 4.77 million viewers. The series low numbers markedly trail those of last season’s premiere (2.2, 10.40 million) and narrowly trail those of the first season finale (1.0, 5.36 million).
It is important to note, however, that Monday’s “Manifest” received weaker lead-in support than most of last season’s episodes (including all winter airings). Whereas lead-in “America’s Got Talent: The Champions” never drew worse than 1.6 in the demo and 9.70 million viewers last winter, this week’s season premiere settled for a 1.3 and 8.03 million viewers.
Given the weakened lead-in support, it is hard to criticize “Manifest” for setting a series low. One can arguably make the case that the performance was promising, especially since “Manifest” will pick up significant viewership from on-demand, DVR and streaming.
Granted, there is the chance numbers will fall once the “return boost” settles, which could yield a more decidedly negative assessment of the show. For now, however, it would be unfair to hold the “series low” label against this week’s episode.