8:29am PT by Michael O'Connell
TV Ratings: 'The Four' Gets OK Start, 'Big Bang' Surges in Return
Fox launched The Four on Thursday night. Its first stab at a singing competition since American Idol, the two-hour premiere came in with a relatively modest (by unscripted standards) 1.2 rating among adults 18-49 and 3.7 million viewers.
The Four, billed as an event series, is set to run in the same time slot for six weeks. It's also the first of three singing shows that will air on the broadcast networks this spring, with ABC rebooting American Idol and NBC airing another cycle of The Voice. Getting out in front of the competition didn't bring evidence that viewers are particularly starving for another music show, though The Four managed to grow its audience from beginning to end (like 911 the night before). The true test for The Four will be in how well it can sustain an audience over the course of its run — since it did build on the night's fall average for Fox by 50 percent in the key demo.
Thursday belonged to CBS, which saw a triumphant return for The Big Bang Theory. Back from its holiday hiatus, the comedy climbed half of a ratings point to a 3.1 among adults 18-49 and just shy of 16 million viewers. It set the rest of its block up quite well, with Young Sheldon (2.6 adults), Mom (1.7 adults), Life in Pieces (1.3 adults) and SWAT (1.1 adults) all leading their respective time slots.
NBC also saw the return of its Thursday block, off the air since Thursday Night Football briefly took over the schedule in November. Will & Grace was the biggest performer, fetching a 1.4 rating among adults 18-49 at 9 p.m., followed by Superstore (1.1 adults), The Good Place (1.0 adults) and Great News (0.6 adults).