Strong returns for opening night

The Big Bang Theory moves back to Mondays and still dominates. (CBS/Warner Bros.)
The Big Bang Theory moves back to Mondays and still dominates. (CBS/Warner Bros.)

Everyone’s a winner in the first night of the TV season!  Well, almost…

The first night of the 2014-15 got underway Monday night and judging by the numbers, DVRs are going to be working overtime this week.

Despite heavy competition, many shows were amply sampled, including heavily-hyped new entries Gotham and Scorpion.

Meanwhile, The Big Bang Theory dominated its competition on its new (temporary) night, while Blacklist continues to roll on.

These results are based on live adults 18-49 numbers, unless noted otherwise.

In the first hour of prime time, CBS’ The Big Bang Theory dominated with a 5.4 rating for both half-hours. However, the competition also put up solid numbers: NBC’s The Voice had a 3.9, while the critically acclaimed Gotham debuted with a 3.2 rating and 8.2 million viewers. Not a bad start for the Batman prequel, and finally, Fox gets some much needed good rating news.

Dancing With The Stars bought up the rear with a 2.2 rating for the full two hours, but still drew 12.8 million viewers.

In a surprise, CBS’ new Scorpion – a program described as a Big Bang Theory as a drama – scored a 3.2 rating and 13.8 million viewers, ranking second only behind The Voice in the adult 18-49 demo. Meanwhile, the second season premiere of Sleepy Hollow earned only a 2.0, down 38 percent from its lead-in in the demo – a disappointment given how well the show did in its first season.

Lagging behind was CW’s Top Model, with the long-in-the-tooth modeling competition earning only a 0.3 demo rating. By comparison, VH1’s T.I. and Tiny earned a 1.0 in the same 18-49 demo.

– In the third hour of prime-time, it was no contest: NBC’s Blacklist (3.4) easily rolled over the season finale of CBS’ Under The Dome (1.8) and ABC’s preview of Forever (1.7), which moves to its regular Tuesday night slot tonight. Judging by the premise (or the ratings), Forever won’t live up to its name.

– Also having an impact on ratings last night was the Monday Night Football matchup between the Chicago Bears and the New York Jets. The heavy competition from the broadcast nets may have had an impact: Monday’s game scored the lowest overnight household rating in six years (9.2). Despite this, MNF scored won the night in the 18-49 demo (5.2) and drew 13.3 million viewers.

The Bears won the game, 27-19.

In the Chicago area, the heavy competition had no impact on the local ratings for the Bears, as viewers fled into the entrances en masse: the game earned a combined 33.3 overnight rating on ESPN and WCIU, meaning many in the Windy City will have those DVRs cranking this week as they catch up on their favorite shows.

When it comes to the Bears, not even Sheldon Cooper or Mr. Spader’s Blacklist can stop them. Certainly, the Jets couldn’t.