Sunday Night Football is certainly helping NBC this fall, but there’s another reason the Peacock has been the top network for five weeks in a row: America’s Got Talent. Last night, a two-hour talent fest drew 11.5 million viewers, easily winning the night over the second new episode of Fox’s Bones (8.9 million), the season finale of CBS’s Greatest American Dog (5.5 million), and a new episode of The CW’s America’s Next Top Model (3.8 million). In typical second-week fashion, Bones was down by 12 percent from its premiere. However, Top Model actually bucked that trend, improving over week one by 300,000 viewers, or a strong nine percent. (And that was without Tyra impersonating a moose or a robot. Those 300,000 viewers don’t know what they missed last week!)
In addition to Bones, Fox debuted the rest of its Wednesday night, which includes a comedy hour combo of ‘Til Death and Do Not Disturb. Both bowed with lackluster ratings: Death, now in its third season, averaged 6.4 million viewers (slightly above last season’s average of 6 million), while the new Jerry O’Connell-Niecy Nash laffer Disturb lost 23 percent of that audience to wind up with just 4.9 million. Granted, Fox’s new comedy last season, Back to You, must have been expensive with Kelsey Grammer and Patricia Heaton on board, but its low, but healthier, average of 6.4 million viewers a week may have Fox suits wishing they’d kept it around. And the real competition for Death and Disturb won’t come for another two weeks when CBS’s Criminal Minds premieres, followed the next week by ABC’s Private Practice.