TV Ratings: 'Bless the Harts' Starts Quietly, 'Sunday Night Football' Scores Big

The animated comedy holds onto most of its 'Simpsons' lead-in opposite a huge NFL game, and ABC's 'The Rookie' holds up in its move to Sunday.
FOX

The return of Fox's "Animation Domination" branding did not lead to dominant ratings Sunday, as new series Bless the Harts and veterans The Simpsons, Bob's Burgers and Family Guy all pulled in modest on-air numbers. NBC dwarfed everything with a season high for Sunday Night Football, and ABC's The Rookie held up reasonably well in a new time period.

Bless the Harts premiered with a 0.7 rating among adults 18-49 and 1.81 million viewers. The show did a decent job of holding its Simpsons lead-in (0.9, 2.31 million); Bob's Burgers and Family Guy also drew 0.7s in the 18-49 demo at 9 and 9:30 p.m. Last season the veteran shows all at least doubled their audiences via delayed and multi-platform viewing.

Sunday Night Football posted its highest overnight ratings for week four of the NFL season in seven years. The New Orleans Saints' 12-10 win over the Dallas Cowboys earned a 15.5 household rating in metered markets, up 26 percent over the same night last year and the best preliminary numbers for SNF so far this season. (The Sept. 8 game pulled in a 14.8 in households, finishing with 22.2 million viewers in the finals.)

At ABC, the second-season premiere of The Rookie was in line with its 2018-19 average, scoring a 0.7 in the 18-49 demographic and 4.05 million viewers. That's a sizable upgrade from the DOA premiere of The Alec Baldwin Show (0.3, 2.1 million) in the same slot last year. The Rookie doubled both its 18-49 rating and total viewers with a week of delayed viewing last season.

The finale of Celebrity Family Feud tied its season high in adults 18-49 at 1.0 and had a five-episode high in viewers (5.42 million) at 8 p.m. Shark Tank premiered with a 0.7 and 3.82 million viewers, up a bit from last season's debut (0.6, 2.96 million). 

The ratings for CBS' premieres are likely to change, as a late-afternoon NFL game pushed the start of primetime back about 45 minutes in most of the country. For now, 60 Minutes is at 1.4 in adults 18-49 and 9.81 million viewers; God Friended Me at 0.9 and 6.92 million; and NCIS: Los Angeles at 0.6 and 4.97 million.

NBC's 5.6 rating among adults 18-49 (pending updates) beat the combined total of the other broadcast networks in primetime. CBS is second at 1.7, also pending updates, and ABC and Fox tied for third at 0.8. Telemundo and Univision each averaged 0.3, and The CW trailed with a 0.1.

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