8:27am PT by Michael O'Connell
TV Ratings: 'Bachelor in Paradise' Scores Best Ever Premiere
After a solid two months in the news cycle, thanks to a brief production shutdown, Bachelor in Paradise finally returned to ABC on Monday — scoring a premiere high and topping all of the night's original series in the process.
The two-hour episode averaged a 1.5 rating among adults 18-49 and 5 million viewers. Compared with the most recent premiere, which aired on a Tuesday, that's up 7 percent in the key demo. It's an incremental boost, to be sure, but it's also within one-tenth of a ratings point from the franchise's all-time high set during the third-season finale.
Bachelor in Paradise, now in its fourth season, briefly closed up shop on its Mexico shoot in June after allegations of misconduct on set. An investigation from producers Warner Bros. ultimately proved that no wrongdoing had occurred and production resumed on a slightly tightened schedule.
As for the controversy, it was addressed during the premiere. "It was important to show that anything that was alleged that happened didn’t happen," ABC alternative chief Robert Mills told THR days before the premiere. "Paradise is not a set that was in any way unsafe or causing harm to contestants or producers, or to anyone who was down in Mexico at the time."
Bachelor in Paradise took the demo crown from NBC's American Ninja Warrior, which trailed closely with a 1.4 rating among adults 18-49, but topped among total viewers with 5.9 million.