This is the first time this season the ABC comedy has won in the key demo — albeit with a slight margin
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ABC’s “Abbott Elementary” Valentine’s Day-themed episode was able to woo the 18-49 demographic on Wednesday, per Nielsen live plus same-day figures, in the mockumentary comedy’s first ratings win of the TV season. However, viewers still swooned over CBS’ Super Bowl Commercial Special, which had the highest average viewership of the night and was a close second to the Quinta Brunson-starring title’s demo win.
At 9 p.m., right after the early series premiere of the Gina Rodriguez dramedy “Not Dead Yet,” “Abbott Elementary” averaged a primetime night high with 0.56 in the demo. The episode, which saw Brunson’s Janine and Tyler James Williams’ Gregory inch closer to the highly anticipated romantic conclusion of their will-they-won’t-they arc, also netted 3.2 average million viewers overall. That was up by 50% from last week’s rerun installment last week.
With its 22nd Super Bowl Commercial Special, CBS’ interactive show where viewers can vote live to crown the ultimate Super Bowl commercial from the last four decades, the network won in terms of total viewership with a primetime high of 4.8 million average watchers. That program also drew 0.52 in the key demo — not too far off from “Abbott.”
“Abbott Elementary” also benefited from a lack of competition from the NBC “OneChicago” slate, which aired a series of reruns this week, as it did the week prior. However, when looking at networks overall, NBC still won the night in terms of average viewership, with 3.2 million compared to CBS’ 3.08 million and ABC’s 3.06 million. ABC was first in the demo, with an average of 0.41 compared to CBS’ 0.38 and NBC’s 0.29.
The synopsis for “Abbott’s” episode is as follows: “On Valentine’s Day, the Abbott teachers discuss their relationships and plans for the holiday. Janine finds out one of her students has a crush on her and when turning to a colleague for advice, she inadvertently learns a secret about another teacher. Elsewhere, Ava sits in on Jacob’s Black History class after receiving a complaint.”
Hosted by Boomer Esiason (CBS Sports’ “The NFL Today”) and Daniela Ruah (CBS’ “NCIS: Los Angeles”), the CBS special was broadcast live from SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles and Arizona’s State Farm Stadium, where Super Bowl LVII will be held on Sunday, beginning at 8 p.m. ET/PT. It was also available to stream on-demand on Paramount+.
Other notable ratings moments from Wednesday included the premiere of “Not Dead Yet,” which followed up an episode of “The Conners” at 8:30 p.m. The special early airing drew 0.44 in the demo and 3.6 million average viewers, with its time period premiere scoring 0.37 in ratings and 2.9 average watchers. Ending the night on ABC was the final season premiere of “A Million Little Things,” which averaged 0.26 in the demo and a viewership of 2.2 million.
On The CW, “The Flash” premiered its ninth and final season to an average audience of 509,000 and demo of 0.1.
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Prior to becoming a TV reporter at TheWrap in 2022, Natalie served as a general entertainment news reporter. She has covered film, television, music and business beats for two years, beginning her career as an intern at Variety, where she continued to freelance as a TV features reporter. Since then, Natalie has been a Celebrity News Writer at BuzzFeed and contributed to such publications as Metacritic and Vox Media, where she was part of the company's inaugural Writers Workshop.