8:30am PT by Michael O'Connell
TV Ratings: 'Mysteries of Laura' Pulls Strong Sampling, 'Red Band Society' Modest on Fox
Teasing viewers for over a week, the new fall season finally kicked off in semi-full force on Wednesday night with both NBC and Fox launching two new dramas.
The Mysteries of Laura, which faces an uphill battle with critics, certainly had the advantage of a strong lead-in from the finale of America's Got Talent. Airing at 10 p.m. — it moves to its regular 8 p.m. time slot next week — the Debra Messing vehicle averaged a 2.1 rating among adults 18-49 and 10.4 million viewers. That live-plus-same-day showing is something NBC is certain to downplay before time-shifting becomes available, though it is still the strongest scripted entry to join the schedule this week, and holding 91 percent of its lead-in is a very good sign.
As for the finale of America's Got Talent, the two-hour closer was off two-tenths of a point from last summer's closer in its second night. The series averaged a 2.3 rating in the key demo.
Fox's Red Band Society didn't get quite such a lofty lead-in from Hell's Kitchen. The younger-targeted dramedy pulled a 1.3 rating with adults 18-49 and 4 million viewers at 9 p.m. in live-plus-same-day viewers. That's a modest start and down from the typical reality offerings in the time slot from recent falls but virtually even with Hell's Kitchen (1.4 adults). The show also performed well with teens — and Fox projections have it rising to a 2.1 rating with 18-49-ers.
Elsewhere in finales, Extant wrapped its first season on CBS with a 1.1 demo rating in live-plus-same-day returns — that's up three-tenths of a point from the last episode and its biggest boost in weeks. Extant has performed significantly better with time-shifting. Across broadcast, its weekly growth from DVR was eclipsed only by Under the Dome's this summer — and last week's episode rose 63 percent after just three days of additional views. It has yet to be renewed.
With another week left of its season, Big Brother pulled a steady 2.2 rating with adults 18-49.