8:22am PT by Michael O'Connell
TV Ratings: 'Good Place' and 'Kevin Can Wait' Open Well, 'The Voice' Holds and 'Big Bang' Dips
Monday marked the real start of the 2016-17 TV season after several false (and lackluster) starts. The night marked the premieres of NBC's The Good Place and CBS' Kevin Can Wait and the returns of dominant broadcast franchises The Big Bang Theory and The Voice.
CBS' Big Bang Theory was unsurprisingly the night's biggest player, albeit one that returned down nearly 25 percent from its Monday premiere a year ago. TV's top-rated comedy kicked off its tenth season with a 3.6 rating among adults 18-49. It also pulled in 15.4 million viewers.
A lot of CBS chips are riding on Kevin James' sitcom return — and, fresh out of the gate, it pulled the same scores as last year's comedy to debut in the spot. Kevin Can Wait averaged a 2.6 rating among adults 18-49 and 11.2 million viewers. In the key demo and total viewers, that's dead even with 2015 entry Life in Pieces. It was followed by a robust follow-up for two-parter The Case of: JonBenet Ramsey. After nearly outshining the Emmys on Sunday night, the second two-hour installment dipped 10 percent to a still-strong 1.8 rating in the key demo.
NBC presented a very different version of The Voice on Monday. The season premiere of the Emmy winner, with new mentors Alicia Keys and Miley Cyrus, helped assure a nightly victory for the network that just won the last calendar year in the key demo. The Voice did not get a lift with the new talent, but it did the next best thing by holding steady with an average 3.3. rating among adults 18-49 over the course of its two-hour premiere. Compared with last fall, that's only off by two-tenths of a point.
It was good news for The Good Place. NBC's freshman comedy, which will shift to Thursdays, got a favorable sampling with a 2.3 rating among adults 18-49 for its hour premiere. The pilot, which aired at 10 p.m, tied Kevin Can Wait with a 2.6 rating in the key demo. Also of note for NBC, Jimmy Fallon's first Tonight Show of the new season hit a five-month Monday ratings high with an appearance by Hillary Clinton. Tonight earned an overnight 2.8 rating among metered-market households, its best showing since April. (It also bested last Thursday's show with Donald Trump. That pulled a 2.6 households rating.)