Tuesday saw the series premiere of ABC’s celebrity competition series Splash (2.6/8). Hosted by Joey Lawrence and ESPN’s Charissa Thompson and judged by Olympic gold medalist David Boudia and U.S. Dive Team director Steve Foley, the reality series saw The Cosby Show’s Keshia Knight Pulliam lose the dive-off and become the first celeb to leave. Bad start for her but good start for Splash. The new show was up 13% from the debut of Celebrity Wife Swap last year on January 2, 2012. In fact, there might be something in the water because Splash had the highest unscripted debut on the network in more than two years and the best on any network since The X Factor premiered on Fox in September 2011. Splash saw growth in both viewership (up 3%) and young adults (up 8%) from its first half-hour to its second.
On the second week of Season 11 of Fox’s Hell’s Kitchen (2.0/6), the lobster and meat was ruined, Gordon Ramsay exploded in anger and an elimination further trimmed contestants. The show also dipped 5% from its March 12 premiere. Fox’s primetime continued with New Girl (2.2/6), which took a 4% fall from its last original three weeks ago, and The Mindy Project (1.7/4), which was steady with its last original February 26.
NCIS (3.1/10) slipped 9% from its last original two weeks ago but still was the night’s highest-rated and the most-watched show with 19.09 million viewers. John Corbett and Kim Raver guest starred on last night’s NCIS:LA (2.8/8) in the lift-off to another planned spinoff of the franchise. The West Coast-based show was even with its March 5 show. Now seemingly firmly settled in its Tuesday slot, freshman Golden Boy (1.7/5) was up 13% from last week. CBS won the night in total viewers and adults 18-49.
With the return of Dancing With The Stars for a new season on Monday, ABC aired a special Dancing With The Stars: Exclusive First Look (2.1/6) at 9 PM. The special bopped up 5% from last year’s DWTS: The Story So Far special that aired March 27 from 10-11 PM. The lead-in was good for Body of Proof (1.5/4), with the unsteady medical drama leaping 25% from last week’s series-low tie to hit a Season 3 high.
NBC started the night with two new episodes of Betty White’s Off Their Rockers. The 8 PM (1.0/3) was up 25% from the encore in the slot last week but down 23% from its last original February 26; the 8:30 PM (1.1/3) was up 22% from last week’s series low. Freshman series Go On (1.0/3) and The New Normal (0.7/2) were down 9% and 22%, respectively, from their last originals three weeks ago to hit new lows. Broadway-based Smash (0.8/2) dropped 11% from last week to tie for a series low.
On the CW, it was The iHeartRadio Album Release Party With Justin Timberlake (0.4/1), followed by Beauty And The Beast (0.2/0).
Deadline's Dominic Patten - tip him here.