8:57am PT by Michael O'Connell
TV Ratings: 'The Bachelor' Trounces 'Celebrity Apprentice'; Dipping NCAA Game Brings 24.4 Million
Monday was an awfully good night for Disney-owned TV. On top of a gargantuan showing for the NCAA's Clemson-Alabama stunner on ESPN, ABC easily won the broadcast race with a steady episode of The Bachelor.
The reality franchise lost next to no steam from the previous week's premiere, averaging a 2.1 rating among adults 18-49 and 6.5 million viewers. The advantageous lead-in, however, did not do much for new competition Big Fan. Two half-hour episodes averaged a 1.0 rating in the key demo and a 0.7 rating in the key demo, the latter only pulling 2.5 million viewers.
But the night's real rough news is for Celebrity Apprentice. In its second episode of the season, the Donald Trump-produced show averaged a 1.1 rating in the key demo — down two-tenths of a point from last week's disappointing premiere. Viewership was down by 20 percent, averaging an audience of 3.9 million over two hours.
The rest of the dial was largely quiet, probably a good idea considering the college football championship game, but Fox did plug in a special Showtime at the Apollo (0.7 adults). And, on CBS, a new episode of The Odd Couple earned a steady 1.0 rating among adults 18-49.
But the real winner of the night was ESPN — though, for the second year in a row, the NCAA Football Championship Game was down. That likely had something to do with the fact that 2017 brought rematch between Clemson and Alabama, however exciting the fourth quarter proved to be.
Linear tune-in for the ESPN telecast dropped roughly 1.3 million viewers, year over year, bringing an average 24.4 million viewers over the course the game that's enough to make it a Top 10 all-time cable telecast. ESPN did recoup viewers with the ESPN2 simulcast, 800,000 viewers, and streaming.