Big Brother: Celebrity Edition — please use air quotes as you see fit — premiered quite strong on Wednesday night and narrowly scored a demo victory for CBS in the process.
The off-cycle edition of the network’s summer favorite premiered in line with the parent series’ last opener, averaging a 1.8 rating among adults 18-49 and 7.3 million viewers. Its audience was actually up by 24 percent from the summer launch. The hour won the night by both measures, helping CBS tie the night with Fox in the key demo.
Celebrity, familiar in other markets that air the format, has not been part of CBS’ roster. The cast includes such personalities as ousted White House staffer and Apprentice alum Omarosa Manigault, Ross “The Intern” Matthews and that actress from the Cosby Show who once escorted her former TV dad into his sexual assault trial.
CBS also had two new hours of The Amazing Race, which pulled a 1.2 and 1.0 rating among adults 18-49.
On Fox, both The X-Files (0.9 adults) and 911 (1.7 adults) held their previous scores — the latter only narrowly missing the night’s top honors to Big Brother. ABC opted for Disney flick Inside Out and a new Match Game (0.6 adults), while NBC pushed out new episodes of The Blacklist (1.0 adults), Law & Order: SVU (1.3 adults) and Chicago P.D. (1.2 adults) before its whole lineup gets sidelined by the Winter Olympics.
Riverdale dipped to a 0.4 rating among adults 18-49 on The CW before a new Dynasty (0.2 adults).