By James Hibberd
Updated September 17, 2013 at 12:00 PM EDT
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Credit: Kent Smith/Fox
type
  • TV Show
network
  • Fox

Off with their heads! The premiere of Fox’s Sleepy Hollow lobbed off the competition Monday night.

Hollow scored 10 million viewers and a 3.4 rating among adults 18-49 (check out Jeff Jensen’s review). That’s 127 percent better than last fall’s disastrous The Mob Doctor premiere. In fact, this is Fox’s highest-rated fall drama premiere in six years. Hollow also significantly built upon its lead in — the return of Bones — which was down slightly from last year (chart below).

On ABC, the return of Dancing With the Stars delivered a desperately needed ratings rebound for the franchise — 16.2 million viewers and a 3.2 rating in the demo, up 28 percent from last fall’s All-Stars edition.

While the season finale of CBS’ Under the Dome (11.8 million) had its largest audience since its summer premiere and its biggest demo ratings(2.8) since in several weeks. See Darren Franich’s recap.

Though next week is the official start of broadcast season, when most shows get underway, last night was the unofficial starter pistol for the fall. Broadcasters are going to be relieved by the Sleepy Hollow and Dancing numbers, proving once again that audiences are still showing up. The Dancing boost was particularly needed. The franchise has been in a spiral and this is the first time the show’s rating has climbed year-over-year since 2010. One suspects the casting of Valerie Harper, who is appearing on the show while fighting brain cancer, helped jump-start interest. Perhaps the lower commitment this season of dumping the results show helped, too. Another certain factor: Last fall’s edition premiered opposite NBC crusher The Voice.

And The Voice can’t return too soon for NBC. Monday had the ambitiously convoluted Million Second Quiz, and the season finales of American Ninja Warrior and deep-freeze flop Siberia.

Fox is pushing for reporters to add a new number into their next-day ratings reports this season: DVR gain projections. Fox predicts Hollow will grow to more than a 5.0 rating with the addition of seven days of DVR playback (these regular morning numbers only include DVR playback from the night before). We’re now at a point where DVR playback is so large that the morning numbers don’t tell anywhere close to the full story of a show’s popularity. Yet even the networks concede the next-day numbers are still crucial — they usually give you a clear idea of how a show is stacking up against the competition and which direction a show is trending week after week, if not the show’s eventual total mass viewership. It’s not entirely unlike using opening weekend box office to grade how well a movie will perform. Also, advertisers put a premium on live viewing, so premiere night ratings tend to have an outsized influence.

Competition is only going to get tougher over the next month as broadcasters roll out all their shows (schedule here).

Full Super Handy Chart:

ADULT DEMO RANK

ADULTS 18-49 RATING

TOTAL VIEWERS

FOX

8-9P

BONES

P

#4

2.2

7,526

9-10P

SLEEPY HOLLOW

P

#1

3.4

10,046

ABC

8-10P

DANCING

P

#2

3.2

16,190

10-11P

CASTLE

RS

#7t

1.5

7,688

CBS

8:00P

HIMYM

R

#11

1.3

4,313

8:30P

2BROKE

RS

#7t

1.5

4,384

9:00P

2BROKE

R

#7t

1.5

4,999

9:30P

BG BANG

RS

#5

1.8

6,073

10-11P

UNDER DOME

#3

2.8

11,839

NBC

8-9P

MILLION

S

#13t

1.1

3,747

9-10P

AMRN NINJA

#6

1.6

4,228

10-11P

SIBERIA

#15

0.8

2,226

CW

8-9P

HART-DIXIE

R

#19t

0.2

706

9-10P

BRKG POINTE

#19t

0.2

499

Episode Recaps

Sleepy Hollow

type
  • TV Show
seasons
  • 3
rating
  • TV-14
genre
status
  • In Season
network
  • Fox

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