Ratings Analysis: ‘Mysteries’ debut shines, ‘Red Band Society’ draws young women

So America loves “CopMom MomCop” and critics should all stop whining about how its sexual politics are stuck in the '70s and its sense of tonal coherence is stuck in the spin-cycle, right?

Shrug. For one day, “Mysteries of Laura” is looking pretty good for NBC.

Although “Mysteries of Laura” dropped to 10.2 million viewers and a 2.0 rating among adults 18-49 in Final Live+Same Day ratings, NBC is pretty giddy. 

Among other things, NBC is boasting this was “the highest 18-49 rating for any ABC, CBS or NBC program originating in the hour, excluding sports, since March 19.” Presumably that's specifically the Wednesday 10 p.m. hour and not any 10 p.m. hours, so it's just evidence that Wednesday 10 p.m. hasn't been the best of hours for the major networks lately. It was also the most-watched debut on any Big 4 network since early March. [That debut was “Believe,” which premiered after an episode of “The Voice.” How'd that work out?]

NBC is pleased that “Mysteries of Laura” retained 80 percent of its “America's Got Talent” lead-in, the most for any of the four dramas that have aired after an “America's Got Talent” finale in recent years. Of course, two of those dramas were “Outlaw” and “Windfall.”

But let's get some more detail on Wednesday's numbers, much include a less glorious premiere for FOX's “Red Band Society,” after the break…

*** How did the half-hour splits for “Mysterious of Laura” end up shaking out? Well, you first have to know that “Talent” closed with 13.46 million viewers and a 2.7 rating among adults 18-49 in the 9:30 half-hour. The first half-hour of “Laura” did 10.97 million viewers and a 2.2 key demo rating and then that declined to 9.44 million viewers and a 1.8 key demo rating. So although that's a drop, it could absolutely be worse. [It's a bit worse than that, because “Talent” had one minute of overrun into the 10 p.m. hour and that minute was the show's highest-rated minute, but we won't get into that.] So where did the biggest turn-off occur? That's easy: Young dudes. Among men 18-34, the last half-hour of “Talent” did a 1.5 rating, the first half-hour of “Laura” did a 0.8 and the last half-hour did a 0.4 rating. Obviously “The Mysteries of Laura” will fall significantly when it moves to 8 p.m. next week, but two-thirds of that overall audience would make NBC giddy, I'm guessing. I'm not sure two-thirds of the key demo number would be as good, but it would be very similar to what “Revolution” did last year, so it wouldn't be a disaster.

*** Everything drops year-to-year, but somehow the “America's Got Talent” finale was up 6 percent over last year in viewers to 12.2 million and only dropped from a 2.5 to a 2.4 rating among adults 18-49. No quibbling here, that's impressive. I just don't have anything more to say about it.

*** So… “Red Band Society.” Let's get this out of the way: The pilot was available online weeks before and nobody has ever done a proper study on whether or not that has an iota of impact on the performance of premieres. In Final Live+Same Day numbers, “Red Band Society” ended up with 4.095 million viewers and a 1.3 rating among adults 18-49. It grew its audience from “Hell's Kitchen” and only dropped 0.1 in the key demo. It also built from a 1.3 to a 1.4 in the key demo at the half-hour and added a few viewers. If FOX is going to concentrate on any positives, it'll be the young viewership. First of all, “Red Band Society” was the night's top show among female viewers 12-17 with a 1.9 rating, beating even “America's Got Talent.” Among all viewers 12-17, “Red Band” did a 1.4 rating and came within 0.1 of “Talent,” even beating “Big Brother.” Raising the age range a bit, “RBS” did a 1.2 rating among viewers 12-34, which beat “Hell's Kitchen” and finished behind only “Talent” (1.6 rating) and “Big Brother” (1.5 rating) for the night. “RBS” tied “Hell's Kitchen” in the 18-34 demo and beat “Hell's Kitchen” among women 18-34. It actually beat “Hell's Kitchen” in most female demos. “Red Band Society” beat “Mysteries of Laura” among viewers 12-17, 12-34 and 18-34 and I'm going to go out on a limb to suggest that “RBS” is more likely to have a strong DVR profile than “Laura.” So those are all positives for “Red Band,” which can also take some solace in knowing that, unlike “Laura,” it isn't moving into a harder time period next week and, in fact, only wide-reaching hit “Modern Family” is going to make a strong play for those young female viewers next week. Probably the gender split is a bit less than ideal, though. Women 18-49? 1.8 rating. Men 18-49? 0.9 rating. Women 18-34? 1.4 rating. Men 18-34? 0.7 rating. 

*** “Extant” completed its season on Wednesday with 5.44 million viewers and a 1.0 rating among adults 18-49 for CBS, both off slightly from Fast Nationals. I have no clue what CBS and Halle Berry's thoughts are on another season. Nothing in the live performance of “Extant” has screamed, “Renew me!” but I'm not sure you can put a price on Halle Berry doing promotion to key your summer programming launch. I'm sure Berry didn't agree to do a TV show so that she could be on a program that ended its run with almost no buzz at all, but it's not for me to know how much she needs work or how much she enjoyed this particular work. “Extant” did half of the 25-54 number that “Mysteries of Laura” did and had 60 percent of the 18-34 number that “Laura” drew. 

*** “Penn & Teller: Fool Us” averaged 1.58 million viewers and a 0.5 rating among adults 18-49 for The CW. As keeping-the-lights-on numbers go, that's terrific for The CW. 

Not much to analyze tonight, I'm betting, so it'll just be Fast National ratings and nothing else. But I'll be back with more analysis on Monday.