The 16th season of The Bachelorette premiered to better ratings than its previous cycle, a rather rare occurrence in the early part of the 2020-21 TV season. CBS topped primetime with an NFL game that was delayed due to COVID-19 concerns, and Fox News easily led the cable rankings Tuesday night.
A Bachelorette season shot under quarantine conditions debuted with a 1.4 rating among adults 18-49 and 5.03 million viewers, ahead of the 1.3 and 4.77 million for the season 15 premiere in May 2019. It joins fellow ABC series Dancing With the Stars as the only returning shows to beat their previous debuts this fall (not including Fox’s Sunday animated block, which were artificially high thanks to an NFL lead-in). An episode of Celebrity Family Feud followed with a 0.7 in the 18-49 demo and 3.23 million viewers.
CBS’ NFL game — a 42-16 victory for the Tennessee Titans over the Buffalo Bills — scored 10.8 million viewers and a 3.0 rating in the demo, leading the night in both measures. The game also helped The FBI Declassified (3.76 million viewers, 0.9 in 18-49) build on last week’s premiere.
The heavier competition pushed ratings down for NBC’s lineup, as Weakest Link (0.6 in the demo, 4.23 million viewers), Ellen’s Game of Games (0.5, 2.86 million) and Transplant (0.3, 2.87 million) all declined vs. last week. Fox’s Cosmos (0.3, 1.23 million) and Next (0.3, 1.54 million) were fairly steady, while Swamp Thing (0.1, 802,000) dipped in its second week on The CW.
On cable, the Fox News duo of Hannity (5.33 million viewers) and Tucker Carlson Tonight (5.16 million) easily outpaced everything else in primetime. Game two of baseball’s National League Championship Series drew 2.46 million viewers on FS1, while TBS’ telecast of the American League Championship Series brought in 2.13 million.
Bookmark THR.com/Ratings for more ratings news and numbers.