NBC decided to give viewers an early look at what they can expect on "Grimm" this season, giving the horror procedural a Season 2 premiere well ahead of the rest of television.
And it may have worked. "Grimm" earned a 3.4 rating/6 share in Fast National overnight ratings from The Nielsen Co. It was NBC's top-rated program, finishing better than the series premiere of the reality show "Stars Earn Stripes," which grabbed a 3.2/5 in its first hour, but dipped to a 2.9/4 as a lead-in to "Grimm," according to Zap2it.
In fact, "Grimm" had to work with a tough lead-in once again, and somehow managed to grow that audience by 17 percent in the 10 p.m. hour. In its first season, "Grimm" had "Chuck" as a lead-in, which averaged a 2.2/4, for just the first half of the season. After that, "Grimm" was on its own without a scripted lead-in.
The premiere was ahead of the 3.1/5 "Grimm" averaged in its first season, which was good for No. 13 on NBC, and No. 79 overall. It was topped, however, by the first two episodes of "Grimm," which earned a 4.1/7 on Oct. 28 and a 3.6/6 on Nov. 4. However, this episode was the highest-rated "Grimm" outing since earning a 3.5/6 on March 2.
"Grimm" averaged a 2.9/5 in April and May last season, but was able to finish its season with a 3.3/6 outing -- improving its previous week's audience by 18 percent.
Unfortunately, "Grimm" has not given NBC a good start on improving its timeslot numbers this season. Its premiere was 19 percent behind what NBC averaged in the Monday 10 p.m. timeslot last year, when the network first tried the failed "Playboy Club" in the slot (2.8/4 average), but then later replaced it with "Smash" (4.5/7 average).
However, one thing to note about "Smash" is that it had a far-better lead-in: "The Voice," which averaged a 7.7/11 in the hour ahead of it. So in fact, "Smash" would typically lose 42 percent of its lead-in audience, while "Grimm" actually grew its reality lead-in.
"Grimm" will show one more episode in this timeslot on Aug. 20 with "The Kiss," before taking a break to premiere on its regular Friday night timeslot Sept. 14. It will work without a lead-in until late October when the comedies "Whitney" and "Community" premiere ahead of it.
That could create some problems for "Grimm," which may not do well with a comedy lead-in. "Chuck" was its primary lead-in in 2011-12, forcing "Grimm" to grow that lead-in by almost 42 percent on average.
"Whitney" and "Community" have similar ratings as "Chuck," but is a much different genre. "Whitney" averaged a 2.9/5 in its first season, good for No. 16 at NBC and No. 83 overall. "Community" averaged a 2.2/4, however, which ranked it No. 25 on NBC and No. 98 overall. "Chuck," by comparison, finished with a 2.2/4, giving it a placement similar to "Community."
"Grimm" airs one more episode Monday at 10 p.m. ET, but will move to Fridays at 9 p.m. ET on the fall. The series stars David Giuntoli, Russell Hornsby, Bitsie Tulloch, Silas Weir Mitchell and Sasha Roiz.
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