The CW may not have technically won Wednesday night — it placed fifth — but the network staged a bit of a ratings coup with the return of Riverdale.
The dark teen drama based on Archie Comics earned series high returns: a 0.8 rating among adults 18-49 and 2.3 million viewers. Those are respective jumps of 60 and 57 percent compared to its original premiere in January. Better still for Riverdale, it marked The CW’s most watched telecast among teenagers since the heyday of The Vampire Diaries in 2012.
Riverdale‘s growth seems to be a fairly clear boost from the heavy online sampling earlier in the year and an allegedly huge second life on Netflix. The drama, which landed on the streamer at the end of the first season’s run, is said to have been a substantial hit. Network execs have hoped for these kinds of sophomore lifts from aggressive online releases, but this is the first time there’s been any significant evidence of such a strategy having an impact on linear ratings.
Riverdale‘s boosts did not bring any kind of remarkable opening for the reboot of Dynasty. The soap entered the schedule with 1.3 million viewers and a 0.4 rating among adults 18-49.
Fox topped the night with Empire, which curbed its same-day losses for an average 1.9 rating among adults 18-49 and 5.9 million viewers. Star was also slightly improved, earning a 1.5 rating in the key demo.
Second place status was shared by CBS’ unmoved lineup — Survivor (1.6 adults), SEAL Team (1.2 adults), Criminal Minds (1.1 adults) — and ABC’s comedy block of The Goldbergs (1.4 adults), Speechless (1.1 adults), Modern Family (1.8 adults), American Housewife (1.4 adults) and then at 10 o’clock, drama Designated Survivor (0.9 adults). NBC delivered new episodes of The Blacklist (0.9 adults), Law & Order: SVU (1.2 adults) and Chicago P.D. (1.2 adults).