ABC’s ‘The Conners’ Opens as TV’s No. 1 New Series and ‘The Rookie’ Draws a 7 ½-Year High as a Drama Debut in Its Slot

ABC’s ‘The Conners’ Opens as TV’s No. 1 New Series and ‘The Rookie’ Draws a 7 ½-Year High as a Drama Debut in Its Slot

Oct. 17, 2018

Quick Take for Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2018
(Fast Affiliate Live + Same Day Ratings)

ABC’s ‘The Conners’ Opens as the Season’s No. 1 New TV Show Debut

‘The Kids Are Alright’ Delivers Huge Time Period Improvement for ABC

‘The Rookie’ Is ABC’s Top Drama Debut in Its Slot in Over 7 ½ Years

Series photos available at

ABC Tuesday Prime Time (8:00-11:00 p.m. – 6.0 million and 1.3/5 in AD18-49):
Up against NBC’s “The Voice”/”This Is Us,” ABC took 2nd place on Tuesday night in Adults 18-49 (1.3/5), beating CBS’ “NCIS”-led drama lineup by 30% (1.0/4) and Fox’s drama lineup by 117% (0.6/3 for “Gifted”/”Lethal Weapon”). ABC’s “The Conners” opened as Tuesday’s No. 1 TV show among Adults 18-49 (2.3/10), beating out NBC’s “The Voice” (1.7/7) and “This Is Us” (2.2/8). 

“The Conners” (8:00-8:30 p.m. – 10.5 million and 2.3/10 in AD18-49):
At 8:00 p.m., ABC’s “The Conners” premiered as TV’s No. 1 series debut this season in viewers (10.5 million) and young adults (2.3/10), topping NBC’s “Manifest” (10.4 million and 2.2/9 on 9/24/18). In fact, it was TV’s most-watched series debut since ABC’s “The Good Doctor” opened last September (on 9/25/17).

  • “The Conners” ranks as ABC’s most-watched comedy series debut in 4 years and best in 3 years with Adults 18-49 – since 9/24/14 and 9/22/15, respectively.


  • “The Conners” grew sharply over the year-ago final season premiere of “The Middle” in the time period last October (6.2 million and 1.6/7 on 10/3/17), improving the half-hour year to year for ABC by 69% in Total Viewers and 44% in Adults 18-49.

“The Kids Are Alright” (8:30-9:00 p.m. – 6.6 million and 1.4/6): 
Taking 2nd among young adults at 8:30 p.m. to the 2nd half-hour of NBC’s “The Voice,” ABC’s debut of “The Kids Are Alright” bested the “Fresh Off the Boat” season finale in the timeslot last March by 83% in viewers (6.6 million vs. 3.6 million) and by 40% in Adults 18-49 (1.4/6 vs. 1.0/4). 

  • “The Kids Are Alright” greatly improved its timeslot for ABC, topping last season’s L+SD average for “Fresh off the Boat” (3.7 million and 1.0/4) in Total Viewers (+78%) and Adults 18-49 (+40%).


“The Rookie” (10:00-11:00 p.m. – 5.4 million and 1.0/4 in AD18-49):
Spiking over its lead-in by 1.7 million viewers at 10:00 p.m., “The Rookie” scored ABC’s most-watched drama debut (5.4 million) in the hour in over 7 ½ years and tied as the top-rated with Adults 18-49 (1.0/4) in more than 4 ½ years – since 3/29/11 and 2/25/14, respectivelyIn addition, “The Rookie” delivered ABC’s best results with a drama telecast in the hour since September 2014 in viewers and in 2 years with Adults 18-49 – since 9/30/14 and 9/20/16, respectively.

  • The new ABC drama beat out CBS’ veteran “NCIS: New Orleans” by 25% for No. 2 in the hour among Adults 18-49 and ranked No. 1 with key Men (M18-49/M25-54).


Source: The Nielsen Company, Fast Affiliate Live + Same Day Ratings, 10/16/18.

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Jeff Lindsey
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Pons Rongavilla
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Salima Merchant
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