They can obsess about these numbers on Touch: Wednesday night's preview of the series that begins March 19 pulled in the second-biggest audience of any prime-time drama premiere this season.
It was second only to ABC's Once Upon a Time, which reeled in 12.79 million viewers and a 4.0 rating among industry-prized 18-to-49-year-olds on Oct. 23, and Kiefer Sutherland's TV comeback surpassed the debut of two other ballyhooed Fox shows this season, Alcatraz (9.97 million/3.3 on Jan. 16) and Terra Nova (9 million/3.1 on Sept. 26), according to preliminary Nielsen figures. Of course, Touch had the benefit of following American Idol, which was the night's most-watched show by far (despite its relatively lagging numbers), and kept 61 percent of its lead-in's viewership.
Alcatraz — which last week made Fox's strongest dramatic series debut in three years — didn't have too many escapees, losing just about 10 percent of its audience in its second week, according to Nielsen overnights.
It also fell just to 3.0 from 3.3 among 18-to-49-year-olds from the two-hour debut — making it the season's third new drama series to post a rating of at least a 3.0 in its second week (after Terra Nova and Once Upon a Time).
Eli Manning of the New York Giants
Fox's NFC Championship that saw the New York Giants beat the San Francisco 49ers in sudden-death overtime grabbed a huge audience that's becoming typical for the conference championship game that airs in prime time, according to preliminary Nielsen data.
Dan Bell, a Fox Sports vice president, tweeted that the game was the highest rated NFC title game in 17 years (going back to the 1995 game when the 49ers played the Dallas Cowboys).
The two-hour Season 11 premiere of American Idol — the nation's most-watched prime-time program for the past eight seasons — attracted 21.6 million people and posted a 7.2 rating among 18-to-49-year-olds, down roughly 17 percent and 26 percent, respectively, compared with last year's premiere.
Viewership for the 69th Golden Globe Awards ceremony declined slightly to 16.8 million vs. last year's 17 million, according to time zone-adjusted, preliminary Nielsen figures.
The show also fell a little in the industry-coveted demo of 18-to-49-year-olds — to 5.0 from 5.2 (last year's final figure).
Chelsea Handler has three shows... for now. The sitcom based on her life premiered to so-so numbers Wednesday, though they were good for NBC, which crowed that the program attracted the best viewership in the Wednesday-at-8:30/7:30 time slot in more than a year.
What's this?!? There is some accounting for taste?!? Downton Abbey's Season 2 premiere averaged 4.2 million viewers.
Nielsen data on Tuesday showed that the Emmy-winning series' return Sunday night doubled the average PBS prime-time rating, and marked an 18 percent jump over the show's first-season average — which made PBS ecstatic.
Josh Lucas, Molly Parker
No terra firma for The Firm. Its two-hour debut stands on this shaky ground — 46 percent below the demo rating of The Cape's premiere a year ago, making it the worst all-time start of an NBC regular season drama. Quite telling: the show lost viewers with each succeeding half-hour. Surely, the network is missing Sunday Night Football already.