TV Ratings: 'Prodigal Son,' 'All Rise' Lead Modest Rookie Quartet

The first night of the 2019-20 season brings mostly down ratings, with 'The Voice' and '911' topping the charts.
David Giesbrecht/FOX
Fox's 'Prodigal Son'

The first night of the 2019-20 season brought ho-hum ratings for four new series and largely down numbers for veteran shows from a year ago. NBC's The Voice and Fox's 911 were the top returnees.

The third-season premiere of 911 held up best against its 2018 debut, improving in total viewers (6.96 million versus 6.6 million a year ago) and holding pretty steady in adults 18-49 (1.5 rating versus 1.6). The premiere of serial-killer drama Prodigal Son, however, lost a decent portion of that audience, dropping to 4.15 million viewers and a 1.0 in the 18-49 demographic. It was, however, the best of the new shows in the demo.

The Voice opened with a 1.7 in adults 18-49 and 8.84 million viewers, in line with its fall 2018 average (1.7, 9.25 million) but down from 2.0 and 9.66 million for last year's premiere. Drama Bluff City Law fell off considerably at 10 p.m. with a 0.8 in the demo and 4.73 million viewers.

CBS' two new shows, comedy Bob Hearts Abishola (5.88 million viewers, 0.8 in adults 18-49) and drama All Rise (6 million, 0.7) drew the biggest total audiences among the newcomers. Bob Hearts Abishola also built a little on the audience for lead-in The Neighborhood (5.73 million, 0.9). All Rise in turn built on Bob's viewership, and Bull closed the night with 6.3 million viewers and a 0.7 in adults 18-49.

ABC's numbers may be inflated some by a Monday Night Football preemption in Washington, D.C. Dancing With the Stars (0.8 in the demo, 6.63 million viewers) fell from 1.0 and 8 million for its premiere last week, and The Good Doctor (1.0, 6.61 million) came up short of last season's premiere (1.3, 7.35 million) — though it did top the 10 p.m. hour. The CW got 0.2s from Penn & Teller: Fool Us and Whose Line Is It Anyway.

All the above numbers will grow significantly with delayed viewing. Last season, broadcast shows (excluding live sports) grew by an average of about 60 percent in adults 18-49 and by 46 percent in viewers in the seven days after their initial airing.

NBC's 1.4 rating among adults 18-49 led the night, edging Fox's 1.3. ABC is at 0.9, pending updates, and CBS averaged 0.8. Telemundo and Univision tied at 0.4, and The CW trailed at 0.2.

In the finals, 911 (1.6 rating) and Bob Hearts Abishola (0.9) adjusted up a tenth of a point each in adults 18-49. ABC's shows held at their fast national numbers even after factoring out the football preemption.

Bookmark THR.com/Ratings for more ratings news and numbers.

Sept. 24, 2 p.m. Updated with final ratings adjustments.