TV Ratings: 'Black Lightning' Gets a Promising Premiere on CW

Black Lightning Still Cress Williams - Publicity - H 2017
Courtesy of The CW

Good news for the CW. It seems the network still hasn't exhausted its viewers' appetite for superhero shows.

Black Lightning joined the lineup Tuesday night, making it the fifth comic book series on the network — seventh, if you're counting genre-divergent entries iZombie and Riverdale. The first hour pulled a strong 0.8 rating among adults 18-49 and 2.3 million viewers. Those numbers are quite sound by CW standards, especially when you consider the fact that lead-in The Flash, the CW's No. 1 series, only performed incrementally better. Black Lightning shared The Flash's score in the key demo and lost fewer than 200,000 of its viewers.

It would be foolish to ignore the significance of Black Lighting's entry on the schedule. The Greg Berlanti drama, shepherded by powerhouse producers Mara Brock Akil and Salim Akil, is the network's first series with a black actor (star Cress Williams) as No. 1 on the call sheet. Black Lightning ranks as the highest-rated premiere in two years. And the CW delivered such a strong performance Tuesday, it tied CBS' typically robust repeats for the night among adults 18-49.

NBC easily won with its combo of Ellen's Game of Games (2.2 adults), This Is Us (2.5 adults) and Chicago Med (1.5 adults). All three were steady with the previous week. On ABC, The Middle (1.4 adults), Fresh Off the Boat (1.0 adults), Black-ish (1.0 adults) and Kevin (Probably) Saves the World (0.6 adults) were also even.

The latest episode of Lethal Weapon saw a decent bump on Fox, averaging a 1.2 rating among adults 18-49 before LA to Vegas (0.9 adults) and The Mick (0.8 adults).