8:45am PT by Michael O'Connell
TV Ratings: CBS Launches Latest 'NCIS' Spinoff, 'SHIELD' Sees Sharp Drop
NBC nabbed its second nightly victory for premiere week on Tuesday. Led by The Voice, which improved ever so slightly from Monday's fall premiere low, the network also saw the return of Chicago Fire lead at 10 p.m.
The Voice's second episode of the season averaged a 4.0 rating among adults 18-49 — up a shade from Monday but still down about 15 percent from the comparable episode last fall. Chicago Fire saw no such year-to-year fatigue. The episode pulled in an average 2.7 rating in the key demo for its live-plus-same-day showing.
CBS brought in the night's biggest haul of viewers thanks to the return of NCIS and its latest spinoff, New Orleans. The flagship procedural pulled 18 million viewers and a 2.9 rating among adults 18-49, while NCIS: New Orleans opened its slot in slightly better shape than NCIS: L.A.'s viewership last fall, averaging 17.1 million viewers and a 2.5 in the key demo — the latter off half of a ratings point. Non-NCIS show Person of Interest averaged a 1.8 adults rating. Of all the series, Person of Interest stands to recoup the most viewers in time-shifting with a projected 48 percent rise (per CBS).
Agents of SHIELD, which saw some of last season's biggest DVR gains, took a sharp 60 percent drop from its year ago premiere in live-plus-same-day, pulling a 1.9 rating in the key demo. The series shifted from opening the night to its 9 p.m. time slot after a Dancing With the Stars results show (1.6 adults, down 27 percent from last week). Forever continued its two-night premiere by auspiciously retaining its Monday showing of a 1.7 rating among adults 18-49 — and that was with the smaller SHIELD lead-in.
As for SHIELD's DVR improvement, ABC projects an increase to a 3.1 rating once live-plus-seven ratings are tallied. Even with that growth, the episode would still be a far cry from last year's 4.7-rated opener.
Utopia did not fare any better with increased broadcast competition. Fox's experimental reality show notched a 0.8 rating with adults under 50, offering a softer lead-in to comedies New Girl (1.3 adults) and The Mindy Project (1.0 adults). The latter two were off a respective four- and three-tenths of a point compared to last week's premieres — and both will likely improve 60 percent with seven days of time-shifting.