8:18am PT by Michael O'Connell
TV Ratings: 'This Is Us' Reigns Supreme in Teary Return
This is still happening. NBC's quiet behemoth, This Is Us, returned for its sophomore season Tuesday night — grabbing another ratings high in the process.
Again airing in the 9 p.m. time slot, This Is Us topped premiere week's Tuesday efforts with an average 3.8 rating among adults 18-49 and 12.6 million viewers. In the key demo, that's an easy series high — up 12 percent from the spring finale. Its total audience was essentially flat with past highs.
This Is Us wasn't just the No. 1 series of the 2016-17 season, it became broadcast's top-rated drama with an average 4.8 rating among adults 18-49 (just behind The Big Bang Theory) and 15.3 million viewers. Like Fox's Empire two years before it, the drama also had the rare distinction of building its night-of draw consistently over the course of its first season. This Is Us rose steadily from its solid premiere, finishing its Cinderella narrative with then series highs.
All the attention offered some assist to NBC's newcomer from Dick Wolf. The obscenely longwindedly titled Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders, which shall henceforth be referred to as just "The Menendez Murders," opened with a 1.7 rating in the key demo and 6.2 million viewers. It's good enough news for Wolf and the network, especially compared to the middling Monday launch for The Brave. The Voice's one-hour outing that started NBC's night was in line with Monday's longer premiere, averaging a 2.6 rating among adults 18-49 and 10.6 million viewers.
CBS also returned to the schedule Monday, offering new episodes of NCIS (1.6 adults), Bull (1.2 adults) and NCIS: New Orleans (1.0 adults). Fox offered up its rejiggered Tuesday lineup with a smaller return for Lethal Weapon, which averaged a 1.2 rating among adults 18-49 and 4.3 million viewers, before migrated comedies The Mick (0.9 adults) and Brooklyn Nine-Nine (0.8 adults).
Going the reality route, at least for one Tuesday, ABC aired Celebrity Family Feud (1.3 adults) and Dancing With the Stars (1.2 adults).