It’s been a rough week for the networks, with viewership off from last year and even from last week, when the season officially began. Things seemed to stabilize on Wednesday night – except on NBC.
Ironside, the remake of the old Raymond Burr series, got no traction in its debut, drawing 6.8 million viewers. While that’s better than Chicago Fire did in the same time slot last year, the disappointment lies in how few 18-49 year olds tuned in to see Blair Underwood battle crime from a wheelchair. The show notched a 1.4 rating, making it the lowest fall drama rollout in the network’s history. (Boy, we’ve been using that “lowest in history” tag a lot this week.)
Just to give you a sense of how youth-repellant Ironside was, consider that Revolution kicked off the night for NBC in anemic fashion. And even though the steampunk show drew 1.5 million fewer viewers than Ironside, it still outperformed Underwood’s show in the 18-49 year old demographic.
Hate to tell you this, folks, but if you don't fall in that 18-49 sweet spot, you're considered a non-essential viewer.
ABC was happier with its Wednesday night premiere, Super Fun Night with Rebel Wilson. The sitcom pulled in 8.2 million viewers, and a robust 3.2 rating among 18-49 year olds. That made it the night’s second highest rated show, behind only its lead-in Modern Family, which leveled off after a rocky season debut last week.