TV Ratings: Premiere Week 2019 by the (Unimpressive) Numbers

Veterans like 'This Is Us' and 'The Masked Singer' bring in solid returns, but no new series breaks out in the first few days of the season.
NBC: Fox; ABC
'This Is Us' (left), 'The Masked Singer,' 'The Conners'

The first week of the 2019-20 season has not been particularly kind to the broadcast networks.

There have, to be sure, been bright spots — The Masked Singer and This Is Us posted strong adults 18-49 ratings, and NCIS matched its impressive total-viewer haul from last season. But they've been decidedly fewer than in past years.

No new series has broken out either. Several of them are clustered in the middle of the pack, but none has really shown out in the way that NBC's Manifest or ABC's The Good Doctor have in the past couple years. Every show will of course grow some with delayed and multiplatform viewing — in some cases by quite a lot — but the starting points are lower almost across the board.

Below are some numbers breaking down the high- and lowlights from premiere week so far (all ratings are live plus same-day via Nielsen, through Thursday).

46; 20: The number of primetime network shows (excluding sports and news) that have aired so far this week; and the number that have recorded adults 18-49 ratings of 1.0 or better.

52; 40: The number of shows and those at or above 1.0 in the same week last year.

1.0, 5.5 million: Average 18-49 rating and total viewers for all 46 shows this week.

0.7, 4.52 million: Average 18-49 rating and total viewers for the 12 new series.

1; 1: Number of shows to climb above a 2.0 in adults 18-49 (The Masked Singer at 2.5); shows above 10 million total viewers (NCIS with 12.57 million).

6; 7: Shows from 2018's premiere week above 2.0 in the 18-49 demographic; shows above 10 million viewers.

6 percent: The decline in TV usage this week versus the same week in 2018. With nonlinear viewing factored in, the decline is smaller at 3 percent.

1.3, 1.8, 2.5: Respective ratings among adults 18-49 for the top comedy (The Conners), drama (This Is Us) and unscripted show (The Masked Singer).

8.06 million, 12.57 million, 8.02 million: Total viewers for the most-watched comedy (Young Sheldon), drama (NCIS) and unscripted show (The Masked Singer).

1.0: Adults 18-49 rating for Fox's Prodigal Son, the top series premiere in the demo so far.

6.03 million: Total viewers for CBS' All Rise, the most-watched series debut of the week. CBS also had the next four most-watched series debuts in The Unicorn (6 million), Carol's Second Act (5.97 million), Bob Hearts Abishola (5.89 million) and Evil (4.62 million).

1: Number of networks to improve on last year's premiere week 18-49 ratings. Fox is up thanks to The Masked Singer, which gave Wednesday a 47 percent gain over the same night a year ago, and Thursday Night Football, which grew by 17 percent. Monday was steady, and Tuesday posted marginal gains over a year ago.

4: New series that built on their lead-ins in total viewers (ABC's Emergence and Stumptown, CBS' Bob Hearts Abishola and All Rise).

2: New shows that improved on their lead-in's 18-49 ratings (Bob Hearts Abishola and ABC's Mixed-ish).

1.79 million, 2.82 million: Total viewers for the least-watched new (NBC's Sunnyside) and returning (ABC's Single Parents) series.