ABC had a solid but unspectacular start to the season for its Friday lineup opposite mostly repeat competition, with “Shark Tank” leading the way as usual.
According to Nielsen prelims, the entrepreneurial reality show, coming off its top-rated season and summer to date, averaged a 1.7 rating/6 share in adults 18-49 and 6.7 million viewers overall in the 9 o’clock hour — on par with last year’s premiere demo score when the show aired at 8. In total viewers, last night’s tally was up 5% from last year (6.4 million) for the show’s biggest audience to start a season to date.
ABC beat its rivals in 18-49 in each hour Friday, starting with the season premieres of comedies “Last Man Standing” (1.5/6 in 18-49, 6.6 million viewers overall) and “The Neighbors” (1.2/4 in 18-49, 4.6 million viewers overall). “Last Man Standing,” featuring guest starts from the A&E comedy smash “Duck Dynasty,” came in down about 20% from last year’s opener, though that came in early November and thus during a time of higher television usage.
It’s likely a good chunk of the “LMS” audience was unaware that the show was underway for its third season. The comedy originally premiered in mid-October in 2011, and then bowed even later on the calendar a year ago.
The Tim Allen half-hour was followed by the return of “The Neighbors,” a surprise renewal by ABC after a modestly rated rookie season airing on Wednesday nights. In its 8:30 p.m. timeslot, it tied with a repeat of CBS reality show “Undercover Boss” in the 18-49 demo.
Closing out the night for ABC was a time-winning performance from newsmagazine “20/20″ (1.4/5 in 18-49, 5.6 million viewers overall).
ABC’s rivals aired repeats with the exception of a two-hour “Dateline” on NBC (1.1/4 in 18-49, 5.5 million viewers overall).
CBS debuts its Friday lineup next week, and NBC rolls out its dramas “Grimm” and “Dracula” in late October.