CBS' 'Kevin Can Wait,' NBC's 'The Good Place' Both Start in Good Places

by Paige Albiniak  |  09.20.2016

The fall TV season is officially underway, with broadcast premieres beginning in earnest on Monday, Sept. 19.

Of those, two new comedies — NBC’s The Good Place and CBS’ Kevin Can Wait — both got off to solid starts.

The Good Place, starring Kristen Bell and Ted Danson, followed the season 11 premiere of The Voice and scored a 2.3 in primetime’s key demographic of adults 18-49, with 8.1 viewers tuning in at 10 p.m. The Good Place will move to Thursdays at 8:30 p.m. as NBC tries to relaunch its Must-See Thursday night comedy line-up.

For its part, The Voice debuted with new judges Miley Cyrus and Alicia Keys and scored a 3.3 in the demo and 12 million viewers, dipping 6% and 3% from last fall’s premiere.

CBS deployed a similar strategy, launching Kevin Can Wait, which features Kevin James returning to broadcast TV, behind top-rated comedy The Big Bang Theory. Kevin Can Wait averaged a 2.6 among adults 18-49 and 11.2 million viewers in the Monday 8:30 pm time slot occupied last fall by Life in Pieces, the only new show that CBS brought back this year.

The Big Bang Theory, headed into season 10, opened with a 3.6 among adults 18-49 and 15.4 million viewers, down 23% and 15% from last fall’s premiere.

Fox premiered new series Lucifer behind season three of Gotham, and both shows struggled. At 8 p.m., Gotham averaged a 1.2 in the demo and 3.8 million viewers, down quite a bit from last January’s season premiere, which followed Fox’s reboot of The X Files. Lucifer outperformed Gotham at 9 p.m. with a 1.3 and 4.4. million viewers.

Over on cable, FX announced that season 6 of American Horror Story scored its highest premiere yet with 8.3 million total viewers and 5.6 million adults 18-49 tuning in over the course of three days of viewing (live+3). That’s up 50% in total viewers and up 52% in adults 18-49 compared to the season average of last year’s American Horror Story: Hotel on a live+3 basis. That makes the season premiere the most-watched in AHS’ history, and among the most-watched in FX’s history.

That said, same-day premiere to same-day premiere, Roanoke was down 8% among adults 18-49 compared to Hotel and down 9% among total viewers.

AHS: Roanoke features Sarah Paulson and Cuba Gooding Jr. in the lead roles, with both actors just coming off their star turns in FX’s Emmy-lauded The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story.

[Image courtesy of NBC via Variety.]

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