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CBS gave Hunted the absolute best position for a premiere, and it paid off.
After the AFC Championship Game, the preview of the reality show averaged a 4.0 rating among adults 18-49 and 11.8 million viewers. That’s easily enough to make it the highest-rated premiere of the 2016-17 TV season, besting previous record holder This Is Us by nearly 43 percent.
In the key demographic, Hunted marks the best series launch for a reality show since Fox’s The X Factor in 2011. That edges past 2016’s auspicious debut for NBC’s Little Big Shots, which saw its same-day score among adults 18-49 hit a 2.9 rating. (Little Big Shots is still the best in years among total viewers, premiering to 12.8 million viewers.)
Hunted, however, still didn’t hold a candle to 2016’s insane post-Championship Sunday premiere. After the NFC showdown, the 2016 primetime matchup, Fox launched The X-Files event series to an otherworldly 6.1 rating among adults 18-49 and 16.2 million viewers.
Having given Hunted an enviable platform, CBS now will try to lure viewers back to a much more difficult time period. Hunted moves to 8 p.m. this Wednesday, opening the night with a two-hour episode before shifting to one-hour outings the following week.
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