The fall TV premiere season is upon us, with hopeful new entrants on the primetime slate vying to make a good first impression with viewers.
So who came out on top, and who’s looking like a flop?
Fox got the party started this week, premiering three new series. The trio of new offerings got off to starts ranging from impressive to mildly strong. The Monday premiere of “Sleepy Hollow,” a twisted new take on the Ichabod Crane tale from “Fringe” producers Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci and Heather Kadin, scored top honors among this week’s premieres, drawing a 3.5 rating/9 share in the 18-49 demographic most important to advertisers and 10.1 million total viewers. Those numbers not only made “Sleepy Hollow” Fox’s most-watched drama premiere in seven years, but also put it slightly ahead of the network’s premiere of “The Following” — which premiered in January and proved to be one of the few hits of midseason. Clearly, Fox executives weren’t losing their heads over this one.
The following night, Fox premiered two new comedies, with less clearly successful results. Both “Dads” and “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” performed solidly, neither delivered knock-your-socks-off numbers.
“Dads,” which comes from “Ted” team Alec Sulkin and Wellesley Wild (“Ted” and “Family Guy” honcho Seth MacFarlane is also among the show’s producers), got the ball rolling, with solid if not staggering numbers. The 8 p.m. premiere of the show — which stars Seth Green and Giovanni Ribisi, and has been criticized by some for trading in racial stereotypes — pulled a 2.1/7. That put it up 24 percent above the season premiere of “Raising Hope” in the same time period last October, but “Raising Hope” hasn’t particularly been a ratings barn-burner. The “Dads” premiere also had 5.6 million total viewers, a more-impressive 44 percent increase over te “Raising Hope” premiere.
“Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” which stars Andy Samberg as a cop who’s unconventional but gets results, fared better — the series premiere at 8:30 had a quite respectable 2.5/8, which put it 19 percent ahead of the premiere of “Ben & Kate” last September. The “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” premiere also drew 6 million total viewers, a 43 percent jump from the “Ben & Kate” premiere. (The not-so-encouraging news in those numbers? “Ben & Kate” was canceled before it could see a second season.)
Neither new show matched the key-demo performance of the “New Girl” Season 3 premiere on Fox at 9, which was the night’s top-rated show with a 2.9/8. However, with 5.6 million total viewers, “New Girl” tied “Dads” and was bested slightly by “Brooklyn Nine-Nine.”