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CBS Wins Friday Demo Ratings Race With NCAA Basketball, ABC Tops Viewership, ‘The Originals’ OK In Return

Deadline logo Deadline 3/18/2017 Nellie Andreeva
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CBS drew a younger but smaller crowd with its NCAA Tournament coverage than it does with its regular Friday drama lineup. The network won the night in adults 18-49 with a 1.5 rating for its college basketball telecast, up 36% from last week, when it aired drama originals, and it was No. 1 for the night in that metric by a wide margin. But its total viewership shrunk 45% to 4.9 million for a rare No. 2 finish on the night behind ABC (5.5 million).

ABC benefited from the available older audience, with its overall viewership for the night up 26% from last week while its demo average (1.0) was up 11%. At 8 PM, Last Man Standing (1.0, 6.2 million) was steady in the demo while up 7% in viewers to rank as the night’s most watched program. Similarly, Dr. Ken (0.8, 4.6 million) was also flat in the demo and up 18% in total viewers for its largest audience in seven weeks. ABC did solid business with the two-hour documentary Truth And Lies: The Family Manson (1.1 in 18-49, 5.5 million viewers), also drawing ABC’s largest viewership in the 9-11 PM period in seven weeks.

At NBC, Grimm (0.8 in 18-49, 3.9 million) inched up a tenth from last week in the demo to match its second-best L+Same Day result for the final season. Its viewership was on par. Dateline (0.8, 4.9 million) also appears to have drawn some of the available older CBS audience. Its demo result was down 20% from last week in the face of NCAA basketball, while its total viewership ticked up 4%. NBC (0.8, 4.6 million) and finished third for the night in 18-49 and total viewers.

The CW’s The Originals (1.06 million viewers, 0.3 in 18-49) had an OK Season 4 opening in  L+SD, with viewership higher than the Season 3 premiere (894,000) and the Season 3 average (931,000) and a 18-49 rating equal to show’s past three Season 3 outings and just a tad below its Season 3 opener/average (0.4). While spinoff The Originals aired behind mothership The Vampire Diaries in Season 3, it is now a self-starter at 8 PM, which makes last night’s delivery more impressive. It was just a notch down from the 9 PM series finale of TVD last week (1.1 million, 0.4 in 18-49). At 9 PM, Reign (790,000; 0.2) was flat in the demo with its last episode, up a fraction in viewers.

Fox was steady with another Rosewood rerun leading into a new Sleepy Hollow (0.4, 1.9 million), which was even in the demo and added a few eyeballs.

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