8:49am PT by Michael O'Connell
TV Ratings: 'Last Man on Earth' Surprises, Tops Sunday
Anybody with doubts that Will Forte's one-man act couldn't draw a crowd can put theory to rest. Sunday's one-hour premiere of The Last Man on Earth debuted surprisingly well with an average 2.3 rating among adults 18-49 and 5.7 million viewers.
Holding throughout the hour, that made it the highest-rated broadcast series of the night. The scores are also an improvement from lead-ins The Simpsons and Brooklyn Nine-Nine, both of which averaged a 1.8 rating in the key demo. It's more promising midseason news for Fox, which continues to enjoy an astounding hot streak with Empire. The debut also means that Brooklyn Nine-Nine isn't the only scripted comedy that can work on the block.
There were other premieres on Sunday, one of which was ABC's Secrets and Lies. The two-hour opener averaged a soft 1.5 rating among adults 18-49 after the return of Once Upon a Time. The night's No. 2 Big Four show, Once rose half a point from its fall finale.
CBS' premiere of Battle Creek, albeit the most watched at 7.8 million viewers, languished in the demo with a 1.0 rating in same-day returns. The low score followed a soft return for The Good Wife (1.1 adults), which was down three-tenths of a point, and Madam Secretary (1.3 adults) — off four-tenths. 60 Minutes started the night with a 1.6 rating among adults 18-49.