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The Masked Singer is the breakout hit of 2019 and the TV season to date. It’s not the only show, however, that has performed well in the first few weeks of the year.
Amid a boomlet for unscripted shows and the general uptick in TV usage each January, here are some shows turning in good to very good ratings out of the gate.
The conversation does need to start with The Masked Singer, though.
The hot start for Fox’s gonzo singing competition is well documented: Highest-rated series debut of 2018-19 in adults 18-49. Highest-rated new series of the season. Tied for No. 1 overall (excluding sports) in live plus three-day ratings with This Is Us (as of Jan. 20).
Ratings have been stable — and consistently No. 1 on Wednesday nights — since the show’s second episode, and it is easily the biggest unscripted show this season in delayed viewing. Its three-day growth of a full ratings point in adults 18-49 is double that of any other unscripted series on the broadcast networks, and its average gain of 2.92 million viewers is a million more than the next-biggest gainer.
America’s Got Talent: The Champions
That No. 2 unscripted show is AGT: The Champions. It hasn’t drawn ratings quite as large as its parent show, but it has held up admirably in place of The Voice on Mondays. In fact, it’s outperforming the singing competition’s fall average in the three-day ratings thus far. The Champions draws a 2.2 demo rating and 11.87 million viewers over three days vs. 2.0 and 10.64 million for The Voice‘s Monday episodes in the fall.
The spin-off of The Goldbergs has been performing almost exactly like, well, The Goldbergs early in its life. With three-day averages of 1.6 in the 18-49 demo and 5.55 million viewers, Schooled is holding onto better than 90 percent of its lead-in and parent show’s audience — a better rate than American Housewife (1.4, 5.43 million) managed in the fall.
Roswell, New Mexico
Three of The CW’s four new series thus far this season have been new iterations of franchises from the network’s past (or those of its predecessors). All have performed reasonably well, including newcomer Roswell. Its three-day average through two episodes (0.6 in adults 18-49, 2.17 million viewers) is right in line with the averages for Charmed (0.8, 2.17 million through two episodes) and Legacies (0.5, 1.64 million) after their first two episodes.
Bravo’s scripted series was technically a fall launch — it premiered just after Thanksgiving — but the show’s ratings momentum bears mentioning one more time. The Jan. 13 finale delivered 3.25 million viewers (1.34 million of them in the 18-49 demo) after three days — Bravo’s largest audience ever for a scripted show. Dirty John grew by 55 percent in viewers from premiere to finale and by 62 percent among adults 18-49.
Love After Lockup
Similar to Dirty John, albeit on a somewhat smaller scale, WE’s unscripted series has caught fire in its second season, which premiered in December. The Jan. 25 episode drew 835,000 viewers (WE averaged 441,000 in primetime in 2018), more than double its premiere. The prior episode hit a three-day series high with 1.3 million viewers, and every episode after the season premiere has drawn a bigger audience than the show’s first-season high.
A Million Little Things
A slot behind Grey’s Anatomy has injected ABC’s first-year drama with new life. It has tied its same-day season high in adults 18-49 in each of its two episodes in January while setting new highs each week in total viewers. The pattern continued in the three-day numbers with both the Jan. 17 and Jan. 24 episodes setting new season highs — 2.0 in adults 18-49 and 8.22 million viewers for the latter.
Jan. 29, 8:45 a.m. Updated with the most recent three-day ratings for A Million Little Things.
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