TV Ratings: 'The Muppets' Tops 'Scream Queens' in Premiere Week's Tuesday Debuts

The ABC series is the strongest newcomer of the night, while Ryan Murphy's latest effort for Fox falls short of many's expectations.
Courtesy of ABC, FOX and CBS
'The Muppets,' 'Scream Queens' and 'Limitless'

NBC and CBS both had something to be happy about on Monday night with strong premieres for both Blindspot and Live in Pieces, respectively, but the most-hyped debuts of the first Tuesday of the fall season were on ABC and Fox.

The two networks launched The Muppets and Scream Queens, with one overlapping half-hour at 8 p.m., and the the clear victor was Jim Henson's aging puppet troupe. The debut of the ABC comedy averaged a robust 2.8 rating among adults 18-49 and nearly 9 million viewers.

As for Scream Queens, the Ryan Murphy horror-comedy did not take in a huge sampling. It averaged a 1.7 rating in the key demo, holding relatively steady over its two-part premiere. The two hours also averaged 4 million viewers during its first time up at bat. And though the series' will likely skew very young, it's got to be a disappointing haul given the months of marketing.

As was the case on Monday, and every day so long as society doesn't collectively cut the cord, these live-plus-same day ratings tell a fraction of the story — and a smaller portion of that story each year. Decisions on the fates of these new (and returning) shows will come once ample time-shifting data comes in.

This Tuesday was going to be a blessing and a curse for Neil Patrick Harris' variety show Best Time Ever after last week's OK debut. While its Voice lead-in was stronger than America's Got Talent, the competition was much stiffer at 10 p.m. The second outing was much-improved (18 percent) to a 2.2 rating in the key demo. That was after the second night of The Voice raked in an average 3.4 rating among adults 18-49, easily topping Tuesday's other options.

There was another new offering on the night in CBS' Limitless. Based off of the 2011 Bradley Cooper feature of the same name, the series opened to a solid 1.8 rating with adults 18-49 and 9.8 million viewers. It followed back-to-back premieres of the original NCIS (2.4 adults) and spinoff No. 2, NCIS: New Orleans (1.7 adults).

Elsewhere on ABC, the sophomore run of Fresh Off the Boat, a surprisingly robust midseason entry given Tuesday's recent history of comedy failures, followed The Muppets with 1.9 rating among adults 18-49.  Dancing With the Stars, airing between 9-11 p.m., pulled a 1.5 demo showing.

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