Say you want a "Revolution"? Enough viewers did on Monday to give NBC a much-needed burst of good news.
An average of 11.6 million total viewers tuned in to the premiere of "Revolution," NBC's sci-fi drama about a post-apocalyptic world that has mysteriously lost all battery and electric power. That number handed the network an easy victory in the 10 p.m. time slot. And along with its singing contest "The Voice," NBC walked away with a healthy overall ratings win for the entire night, according to early data from Nielsen.
In a key talking point, "Revolution" was the top-rated drama premiere on any network in three years -- since the opening of the now-canceled "V" on ABC back in 2009. "Revolution" also held on to 88% of its lead-in from "The Voice." Usually anything higher than 80% is considered a good sign.
But a closer look at the numbers suggests that NBC might want to keep the champagne bottles corked a bit longer. "Revolution" was up against weak competition: CBS ran a "Hawaii Five-O" repeat, while ABC went with the low-rated "CMA Music Festival: Country's Night to Rock." NBC won't have it as easy in coming weeks, once rivals start rolling out their new fall episodes.
"Revolution" also lost 14% of its viewers age 18 to 49 -- the key category for advertisers -- from its first half-hour to its second. That hints that a lot of people tuned in and weren't crazy about what they saw. However, the 10 p.m. hour can be tricky, as many viewers start to contemplate bedtime as the clock ticks toward 11 p.m.
Monday also saw the premiere of what looks to be fall TV's first bomb: Fox's medical drama "The Mob Doctor," which drew just 5.1 million total viewers at 9 p.m. and somehow managed to place fourth among adults 18 to 49, behind even two back-to-back repeats of CBS' sitcom "2 Broke Girls."
Here's betting that "The Mob Doctor" will soon be sleeping with the fishes.
-- Scott Collins