'Whiskey Cavalier' Ratings Are Fine, Even Without Oscars Stunt

The post-Oscars preview of Whiskey Cavalier on ABC may not have helped the show a great deal in the ratings — but it didn't hurt.

Live-plus-3 ratings for the series' official premiere on Wednesday, Feb. 27, show Whiskey Cavalier grew by 0.6 points among adults 18-49 (0.7 rating to 1.3) and 2.69 million viewers (4.08 million to 6.77 million). That's very close to the three-day gain for the premiere of ABC's A Million Little Things in September (+0.7 in adults 18-49 and 2.77 million viewers). 

Whiskey Cavalier's same-day ratings for the Feb. 27 airing are also in line with A Million Little Things' Wednesday average (0.8 and 3.59 million). 

Of course, Feb. 27 was not the first time the pilot episode of the spy dramedy aired on ABC: The network also aired a "sneak preview" after the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 24, starting just before midnight ET. The ratings for that showing: 4.2 million viewers and a 0.8 rating in adults 18-49, growing to 5.43 million and 1.1 over three days.

With such a late start time after the Oscars — it aired at 10 p.m. Mountain and Pacific time and followed local news or other programming directly after the awards in all time zones — Whiskey Cavalier was never likely to get a massive tune-in for the preview airing. That its second airing drew a similar-sized audience suggests that ABC's heavy promotion of the series during the Oscar telecast and in other programming did a pretty good job of alerting viewers to its regular time slot.

(Since it aired outside of primetime on the East Coast, the Oscar-night airing won't count as part of the show's season averages.)

One week is obviously a small sample size, but Whiskey Cavalier's three-day ratings for the Wednesday debut are also in line with another first-year ABC drama: The Rookie has similar averages both for its initial airing (0.7 in adults 18-49, 4.15 million viewers) and after three days (1.3, 7.36 million).