8:48am PT by Michael O'Connell
TV Ratings: 'The Muppets' and More Lose Steam on Debate Night
After having an encore lead-in last week, the 8 p.m. move wasn't so awful for Best Time Ever after all. The show pulled a steady 1.2 rating among adults 18-49 on NBC. That also was against the Democratic Party debate on CNN — which proved a solid draw, if far south of the recent GOP face-offs.
The one-hour episode of The Voice was the night's top performer in the key demo, averaging a 2.5 rating among adults 18-49. Chicago Fire took a pretty steep tumble with a smaller Voice lead-in than last fall, averaging a 1.8 rating among adults 18-49. That easily won the 10 p.m. hour, but it came in eight-tenths of a point shy of the previous season opener.
Perhaps due to the debate, CBS saw drops for all three of its dramas. NCIS, still leading the pack, averaged a 2.0 rating among adults 18-49 — two-tenths of a point south of last week's showing. NCIS: New Orleans (1.7 adults) was off by the same measure, while Limitless saw the first noticeable drop of its very steady run. The show averaged a 1.4 rating in the key demo, down three-tenths of a point.
The Muppets continues to lose live-plus-same-day steam on ABC, falling another three-tenths of a point in the key demo to a 1.3 rating. It again ranked below lead-out Fresh Off the Boat (1.4 adults), even though the latter was going head-to-head with the actual start of the debate. Agents of SHIELD (1.4 adults) was off by two-tenths of a point at 9 p.m.
On Fox, it's becoming clear that The Grinder is the weaker Tuesday link. Though all three shows are performing very modestly in their live-plus-same-day showings, the past two weeks have seen audiences dip out during the 8:30 p.m. half-hour. The Grinder was steady with a 0.9 rating this year, while Grandfathered and Scream Queens, each averaging a 1.0 with adults 18-49, were off two-tenths of a point. (Scream Queens is still gaining the most of the three among time-shifters.)
The Flash was steady on The CW, grabbing a 1.3 rating among adults 18-49 and ticking up among the 18-34 set, while iZombie (0.5 adults) dropped two-tenths of a point from its premiere.