The 12 Biggest Winners and Losers of Fall TV So Far Are...

While CBS is totally dominating the new season so far, Fox is struggling a bit, hoping for Batman to come to the rescue

By Tierney Bricker Sep 25, 2014 5:00 PMTags
Scorpion, The Blacklist, The Voice, Black-ish, The Big Bang TheoryCBS; NBC; ABC

Break out those calculators, nerds, because we're about to crunch some numbers!

No wait, don't hit that little "X" in the top right corner, we're just kidding! We're TV lovers, not accountants. (No offense to accountants). Sure, we will be looking at lots o' numbers, but for a fun reason, we promise: we're looking at which TV shows are the winners and losers of the fall TV season so far.

While some returning favorites premiered to some seriously impressive numbers (Let's just say the execs over at CBS are patting themselves on the back a lot these days), others have us biting our nails and stress-eating a whole lot of pumpkin-flavored goodies. Plus, we're looking at how some of the new fall offerings, including Gotham, black-ish and The Mysteries of Laura, did after months of tireless—and sometimes tiresome—promotion. 

Without further ado, here are the 12 biggest winners and losers of the fall TV season so far...


CBS: Bazinga indeed! The Big bang Theory returned with 17.9 million viewers and a crazy-high 5.3 demo rating, up from its finale and matching last season's premiere. It's official: geeks rule.

And we're pretty sure CBS is looking into which location will be best for its next NCIS franchise spinoff as NCIS: New Orleans is the highest-rated new series so far, bringing in a whopping 17.1 million viewers. The mother-show, meanwhile, notched 18 million.

And the ratings high didn't end with the returning shows, as new dramas Scorpion (13.8 million) and Madam Secretary (14.8 million) both debuted well. (No pressure or anything, Stalker and The McCarthys!)

Lesson? CBS will outlive us all. 


Gotham: Can the (not-really-a) Batman origin series rescue this network? Possibly, as Fox needed a hit, and Gotham mostly delivered, bringing in 8.2 million and a very strong 3.2 rating.

Chicago Fire: Featuring a major (and heartbreaking) death, the NBC drama secured its largest audience ever in its season three premiere. This show is on fire! (Sorry, couldn't resist.)


The Blacklist: Despite its questionable season two ad campaign, there's no denying that viewers were far from over Red Reddington's shenanigans as the premiere garnered the series' second-highest ratings ever. It's James Spader's world and we're all just living in it...waiting for his next epic one-liner.

black-ish: Finally, ABC seems to have solved its post-Modern Family problem area. (Seriously, it's like the Defense Against the Dark Arts position of the network). The family sitcom starring Anthony Anderson and Laurence Fishburne held onto nearly all of MoFam's audience, banking 10.8 million viewers and a 3.3 demo rating.

Trae Patton/NBC


Sleepy Hollow:  OK, there should be an asterisk here as Sleepy Hollow is one of TV's best performers when it comes to DVR playback, but the season two premiere, which attracted 5.5 million viewers and 2.0 rating, was down from its series premiere and finale.

The Voice: Uh-oh, a spring may be loose in the NBC hit's Red Chairs as the season six premiere, which featured the debut of new judges Gwen Stefani and Pharrell, hit a series-low, bringing in 12.7 million and a 3.9 rating. 

Dancing With the Stars: The Voice isn't the only reality competition series seeing a decline in ratings as the season 19 premiere was down from its previous opening, and hit a series-low in the demo (2.4). 

ABC/Mark Levine

Nashville: Things are not looking good, y'all. Despite featuring live performances in its season three premiere, the ABC country soap finished in third (out of  three spots) when it came to the 10 p.m. timeslot, and scored a 1.5 rating.

Utopia: Science has proven that not all experiments are successful, something Fox is learning the hard way with this new reality series. While it's a crazy-interesting concept (15 strangers agree to spend a year developing their own society), we think the show just cast too many crazy people. (Never underestimate the power of rational thinking on reality TV!) After debuting to a 2.0 rating, thanks to an NFL Sunday lead-in, Utopia's latest Friday outing fell to a paltry 0.5, bringing in just 1.5 million viewers. To try and bring in more ratings/buzz, Utopia will shake things up by letting cast members vote each other out, and bring in new Utopians (aka "Newtopians"). 

Barbara Nitke/NBC

Jury's Still Out

The Mysteries of Laura: Not going to lie, we're surprised by just how well Debra Messing's new drama—she's a mom! But she's also a cop! Hijinks!—premiered: 10.2 million viewers, but it followed the America's Got Talent finale, a pretty sizable lead-in. But in its timeslot premiere, Mysteries still brought in 9.9 million viewers. However, it dropped in the all-important demo. 

Red Band Society: The real loser here? ALL YOU OF YOU PEOPLE WHO ARE NOT WATCHING. Seriously, how did Red Band Society, one of the best new dramas in recent years, debut to just 4.1 million viewers and a 1.3 rating? And in its second week, the Fox series dropped to 3.4 million viewers and a 1.0 rating. Why, America? Why?! Still, we have faith that it will find an audience, so we aren't calling a time on this show just yet.

Make sure to check back with us next week for an updated winners and losers list!