TV Ratings: 'MacGyver' opens big for CBS in Friday premiere, 'Exorcist' OK for Fox

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By Cynthia Littleton

LOS ANGELES (Variety.com) - "MacGyver" lived up to the spirit of the show with a surprisingly big opening night on Friday. Fox's "The Exorcist" had a slow start that was still credible by the low bar of Friday viewership.

"MacGyver" grabbed a 1.7 rating/8 share in adults 18-49 and 10.9 million viewers overall, according to Nielsen's live-plus-same-day ratings. That was impressive for the 8 p.m. lead-off slot on a Friday, particularly in the demo.

At 9 p.m., "Exorcist" opened to 1.0/4 in 18-49 and 2.9 million viewers. That was on par with its lead-in from the season premiere of cooking competition series "Hell's Kitchen" (1.1/5 in 18-49, 3.3 million). "Exorcist" is likely to grow with time-shifted viewing in the L3 and L7 ratings.

"MacGyver," a reboot of the 1980s action-adventure drama, marked CBS' strongest series premiere in the time slot since "Ghost Whisperer" in 2005 and its best 18-49 number in the time slot since an 2012 episode of "Undercover Boss." In adults 25-54, "MacGyver" delivered a 2.4.

The pop from "MacGyver" gave a boost to the rest of CBS' lineup, with "Hawaii 5-0" (1.3/6, 10.1 million) and "Blue Bloods" (1.3/6, 10.4 million) registering gains over last season's openers. CBS lapped the field for the night with an average of 1.4/6 in 18-49 and 10.5 million viewers.

ABC was in middling territory with the season premieres of comedies "Last Man Standing" (1.1/5, 5.8 million) and "Dr. Ken" (0.9/4, 4.1 million) followed by "Shark Tank" (1.1/5, 4.9 million) and "20/20" (0.7/3, 3.4 million). NBC was off the radar with reruns of "The Good Place," "Superstore" and a two-hour "Dateline" adding up to a nightly average of 3.9 million viewers and 0.8/3 in adults 18-49.


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