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NBC’s World of Dance premiered Tuesday, besting expectations to nearly tie the return of America’s Got Talent and top the night.
The first episode of World of Dance averaged a 2.4 rating among adults 18-49 and almost 10 million viewers. Its pretty massive for a reality debut, summer or otherwise. The competition series, from Jennifer Lopez and in-house Universal Television Alternative Studio, has been an internal favorite for months. Given lingering success, World of Dance would be the first breakout reality competition in years. Though there have been alternative wins of late, particularly on NBC, they have been more in the game and variety space than shiny floor shows like The Voice and Dancing With the Stars.
World of Dance ranks as the biggest alternative launch since Little Big Shots over a year ago and the biggest summer alternative launch since American Ninja Warrior in 2012. NBC went out of its way to ensure the show would get the best possible launch, shifting it from a post-Voice launch pad earlier in May to the premiere of Talent. And its 92 percent retention bodes well for next week’s performance.
Talent debuted in slightly better form than a year ago. After ratings increases with the addition of judge Simon Cowell, the same panel (with the addition of new host Tyra Banks) returned intact with a 2.6 rating among adults 18-49 and 12.1 million viewers. That’s dead-even with the 2016 premiere’s demo score and an audience lift of nearly 400,000 for a six-year premiere high.
NBC was unbeatable in Tuesday’s broadcast race, though repeats did pepper the schedule. Fox said goodbye to its Prison Break revival, closing out with a lift to a 0.9 rating in the key demo. On ABC, Downward Dog finally took a dip after two solid episodes — falling three-tenths of a ratings point to a 0.7 with adults 18-49. (The Imaginary Mary burn-off continued with a 0.6 rating.) On The CW, iZombie fetched a 0.3 adults rating. And CBS offered up a new 48 Hours: NCIS to the tune of a 0.5 rating among adults 18-49.
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