The first week of television in 2022 has come to an end, and the major broadcast networks didn’t waste any time in the new year in bringing back some of their biggest shows. Between scripted entries like the shows of One Chicago, the fan-favorite reality offerings like The Bachelor, and the long-awaited premieres of shows like 9-1-1: Lone Star, there was a lot to be found on TV compared to the previous weeks. Now, the numbers are in for how many people tuned in to ABC, CBS, Fox, and NBC to give the very first comparisons between key series of 2022, including Sophia Bush’s new CBS show airing in the same slot as her previous NBC show.
Even with streaming television growing more and more popular, ratings for broadcast TV shows still matter, so let’s take a look at the numbers for the week of January 2. For the sake of fair comparison, we’ll check out the Live+Same tallies, a.k.a. the ratings and audience size for shows within one day of their initial broadcast, for the valuable 18-49 age demographic.
Good Sam Vs. Chicago P.D.
CBS debuted its new medical drama Good Sam on January 5, bringing Sophia Bush back to TV in a leading role and pitting her up against her former show over on NBC. She was the leading lady of Chicago P.D. for the first four seasons, and P.D. remains one of television’s biggest hits in the ratings and audience size. Both shows air at 10 p.m. ET on Wednesday nights in 2022, so it’s worth looking at how they compare.
Unsurprisingly, Chicago P.D. came out on top of Good Sam in both ratings and viewership, as would be expected of a long-running hit show vs. a freshman medical drama. The January 5 episode of P.D. – which was a big one on the Burzek front – hit a rating of 0.7 and audience of 6 million, according to SpoilerTV, tying for the second highest-rated show of the night and coming in just third in audience size, behind Chicago Fire and Chicago Med on Wednesday night.
To contrast, the series premiere of Good Sam scored an 0.3 rating and was viewed by an audience of 2.7 million. Those certainly aren’t bad numbers, and Good Sam beat ABC’s offering in the 10 p.m. ET time slot, but they’re also not nearly enough to come close to Sophia Bush’s previous show. That said, Wednesday nights can be particularly interesting when it comes to delayed viewing numbers, so it’s possible that Good Sam will get a big boost after three and seven days.
Then again, Chicago P.D. is regularly boosted to either #1 or #2 on Wednesdays after delayed viewing, so CBS may not want to hope too hard that its new medical drama can rival the well-established cop drama. No shame to Good Sam, though – CSI: Vegas couldn’t topple P.D. either, and that show came with the name recognition of the CSI franchise!
The Bachelor Vs. Joe Millionaire
The Bachelor returned for Season 26 just a couple of weeks after the latest season of The Bachelorette ended on a happy note, but it was not the only dating show to debut a new season during the week of January 2. The revival of Joe Millionaire kicked off over on Fox as well, and is about the closest thing that The Bachelor has to a rival in the genre this season. The two shows don’t air against each other, so they’re not in direct competition, but it’s worth keeping an eye on their numbers.
The Bachelor got off to a very strong start in the ratings on January 3, with the highest ratings of the night with an 0.84 (via SpoilerTV) , although it wasn’t dominant in audience size. With an adjusted total audience of 3.5 million, it comes in seventh on the night. Joe Millionaire’s numbers on Fox on Thursday, January 6 (also from SpoilerTV) reveal a comparable audience size to The Bachelor, although a large discrepancy in the ratings. Joe Millionaire scored an 0.4 rating, but audience of 3.4 million.
The audience size was only just smaller for the Fox revival compared to the ABC juggernaut in the first hour. Joe Millionaire did drop to an 0.3 rating and 2.5 million for the second hour of its two-part premiere, whereas The Bachelor remained steady in both halves of its own two-part premiere. The comparison makes it pretty likely that The Bachelor will remain on top, but Joe Millionaire didn’t get off to a terrible start.
9-1-1: Lone Star Vs. 9-1-1
Fox has returned to its system of premiering a season of 9-1-1: Lone Star in between two halves of a season of 9-1-1, with the Lone Star spinoff returning on January 3. Lone Star had the advantage of Fox heavily hyping it and the buzz of an exciting 9-1-1 midseason finale in December, but the disadvantage of premiering early in January when viewers might not be back on the primetime train just yet. So, how did the Season 3 premiere of Lone Star compare to the Season 5 premiere of 9-1-1 in the same TV season?
Back in September, the 9-1-1 premiere scored an 0.76 rating and attracted an audience of 5 million viewers, making it the highest-rated and most-watched scripted show in the 8 p.m. ET time slot on that Monday night and setting the stage for 9-1-1 to become fall TV’s biggest hit. With its January 3 return, 9-1-1: Lone Star scored a rating of 0.76 and audience of 5.5 million, tying it with the parent series in the ratings and actually surpassing it in viewership.
Even though the alternating schedule for the two shows means that Fox can’t do regular crossovers like what happens between shows over on ABC, NBC, and (to a lesser extent) CBS, but the numbers don’t lie: Lone Star compares very favorably to 9-1-1, and it should be interesting to keep watching the numbers this season before 9-1-1 returns in March.
This Is Us Vs. La Brea
With the decision to hold the sixth and final season of This Is Us until early 2022 rather than premiering in September or October as usual, NBC filled the Tuesday night slot in the fall with La Brea, which is about as far from This Is Us as can be. La Brea became the #1 new program of the fall season and scored a renewal for Season 2 weeks before the Season 1 finale, and This Is Us faced the potential problem of returning later than usual. So, how do the ratings between the two shows compare?
Well, according to SpoilerTV, the delayed premiere and replacement in the time slot didn’t backfire on This Is Us after all. The Season 6 premiere on January 4 easily won the night in the ratings with a 1.05, and came in behind just two of the three FBI shows on CBS with its audience of 5.4 million.
To contrast, the La Brea premiere in the September 28 spot that normally would have belonged to This Is Us won a rating of 0.77 and audience of 6.3 million. The new series (starring a familiar face for regular NBC viewers) did beat This Is Us when comparing their 2021-2022 TV season premieres in total viewership, but came up short in the ratings. That said, La Brea also dropped fairly significantly in both categories after the smash hit pilot, so the season averages between La Brea and This Is Us may show that This Is Us had a greater edge in the long run.
All of this said, 2022 has only just begun, and there are plenty of shows that still have yet to premiere and complicate things for the competition. Check out our 2022 winter and spring premiere schedule for what to watch and when to tune in, and check back with CinemaBlend for the latest in big TV news.