Ratings: ABC’s “Big Sky” Doesn’t Wow, Still Wins Timeslot (Update)

“Big Sky” was the #1 show in the 10PM hour.

BIG SKY - ÒPilotÓ Ð While on a road trip to visit her boyfriend in Montana, Danielle Sullivan and her sister Grace are kidnapped by a truck driver on a remote part of the highway, setting off a chain of events that leads private detectives Cody Hoyt and Cassie Dewell to team up with CodyÕs estranged wife and ex-cop, Jenny Hoyt, to search for the sisters. But when the investigators discover these are not the only girls who have disappeared in the area, itÕs clear theyÕve stumbled onto something much bigger than them all on the series premiere of ÒBig Sky,Ó TUESDAY, NOV. 17 (10:01-11:00 p.m. EST), on ABC. (ABC/Darko Sikman) RYAN PHILLIPPE, JOHN CARROLL LYNCH

Update: Thanks to an upward adjustment in the final ratings report, ABC’s “Big Sky” premiere outright ranks as its timeslot’s #1 show in adults 18-49.

According to national data posted by Showbuzz, the series premiere drew a 0.7 adults 18-49 rating and 4.15 million overall viewers. The demo rating was the best posted in the Tuesday at 10PM hour, while the viewership number positions “Big Sky” behind CBS’ “FBI: Most Wanted” but ahead of NBC’s “Transplant.”

Granted, the numbers are ultimately underwhelming given the hype and the strong lead-in (“The Bachelorette” averaged a 1.4 rating and 4.67 million viewers).

The premiere of ABC’s “Big Sky” fared well against its timeslot competitors, but its ratings performance was ultimately of the modest variety.

According to fast national data posted by Showbuzz, “Big Sky” drew a 0.6 adults 18-49 rating and averaged 4.0 million viewers.

Of the three major network shows in the 10PM hour, “Big Sky” tied for first in the demo and took second in viewership. CBS’ “FBI: Most Wanted” posted the same adults 18-49 rating but a better viewership number, while NBC’s “Transplant” trailed in both columns.

ABC led into “Big Sky” with “The Bachelorette” (1.3, 4.4 million viewers). The drastic difference in skew (“Big Sky” outperformed its lead-in among older viewers but drew a far smaller young adult audience) suggests weak compatibility.

It will be interesting to see how “Big Sky” holds up in the weeks to come. Given the show’s considerable hype, there is the chance this week’s number, however modest it may seem on paper, was inflated by uncommitted “buzz” viewers who have no interest in future episodes. In true, the show would be at risk of quickly falling into dangerous territory.

But there is also the possibility that the loaded cast, big-name creative team, and ample advertising did not turn “Big Sky” into a “buzz show.” A knock on the marketing team, that scenario would nonetheless suggest “Big Sky” only attracted “all in” viewers for its premiere. That reality, plus word-of-mouth over the closing twist, would give “Big Sky” a shot at quickly stabilizing, if not expanding, its audience in the weeks ahead.

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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