CBS will have more than a month to hold Young Sheldon over its competitors' heads. Monday's sampling of the new comedy, a month out from its official Nov. 2 premiere, likely set this season's high bar for fall premieres.
After an episode of its parent series, and with final adjustments, the Big Bang Theory spinoff averaged a daunting 3.8 rating among adults 18-49 and 17.2 million viewers. That's incredible retention for the new series. Its lead-in, returning for its 11th season, averaged a 4.1 rating in the key demo and 17.7 million viewers.
Young Sheldon currently ranks as the most-watched comedy premiere since 2011's 2 Broke Girls and the highest-rated since 2013's The Crazy Ones. It also boasts the best retention of any of the many, many comedies to launch out of Big Bang Theory. Plenty of hopes have been pinned to the project. Largely considered the fall season's surest shot at a new hit, it will now have the entire month of October to grow its multiplatform reach and, if CBS is lucky, court the long-term affections of its flagship series' numbered fans.
Young Sheldon's breakout night certainly dampened other showings. The Voice returned to NBC for its 13th cycle with a premiere low. Though it still averaged an enviable 2.6 rating among adults 18-49 for its two-hour stretch, it lost just over 20 percent of its year-ago premiere and offered a weaker live lead-in for new drama The Brave. It averaged a meager 1.3 rating in the key demo and 5.9 million viewers.
Another 10 p.m. premiere fared much better — much, much better. ABC saw preemptions of ESPN's surging Monday Night Football cloud early scores for Dancing With the Stars and new drama The Good Doctor, but adjustments paint a lovely picture. The Good Doctor easily locked a time period win, earning a 2.2 rating among adults 18-49 and 11.2 million viewers. That's an improvement on its DWTS lead-in by both measures. That has become harder and harder for broadcast networks to do at 10 p.m., evidently even with a lead-in from The Voice.
Elsewhere on CBS, Kevin Can Wait benefited a great deal from its Young Sheldon lead-in. It surged in its return to a 2.3 rating among adults 18-49, followed by a comparatively weak sampling for newcomer Me, Myself & I (1.6 adults) and a middling return for Scorpion (1.0 adults).
Fox was the only member of the Big Four still spending its summer programming stock. The finale of So You Think You Can Dance came in with just a 0.6 rating among adults 18-49.