It was a primetime of blood, basketball and some serious shaking out on the West Coast last night. The latter was the 5.1 earthquake that rocked southern Californian just after 9 PM PT on Friday. In terms of TV, that led to all the networks in the LA-area preempting regular programming with news coverage of the quake for the rest of the night. It also means that there will more than likely be greater adjustments than usual in the final numbers on Monday. Having said that, it was a very tasty night for Hannibal (1.1/3). With a return appearance by Eddie Izzard, some cutting and a hanging of a sort, the often blood soaked NBC thriller series leaped up 22% among adults 18-49 over its March 21 show. That’s the best Hannibal has done in the key demo since its February 28 Season 2 debut. In terms of viewers, with 3.6 million watching, Hannibal rose 36% over last week to hit its biggest audience since the 4.4 million who tuned in for its second show on April 11, 2013. Of course, Hannibal probably got a bit of a helping hand viewershipwise from its 2-hour Dateline (1.4/5) lead-in. While even with last week’s show among the 18-49 demo, the NBC news mag series hit its highest Friday audience since March 25, 2011 with 8.0 million watching.
With Michigan inching by Tennessee 73-71 and Kentucky pulling off a 74-69 win over Louisville, CBS’ primetime was all NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament last night. Obviously, as with all live events, the numbers will shift when the final ratings results comes in but in preliminary numbers the regional semifinals pulled in a 3.1/10 result with 9.85 million watching. That resulted in an easy win for CBS as both the top rated and most watched network of the night.
Over on Fox, the night was not such a slam-dunk. In its third week on Fridays, Rake (0.4/1) fell 19% from last week to a new low. Lead-out Enlisted (0.4/1), in its last scheduled show, was also down. The military-themed comedy fell a tenth from its last original on March 14. Luckily, all’s kind of well that ends well as Raising Hope (0.5/2) went up a tenth from its March 21 show.
NCAA aside, ABC’s 9 PM Shark Tank (1.2/4) repeat easily won its time slot while the most of the rest of the network’s originals last night performed well in an additionally competitive environment. Back with a new show for the first time in three weeks, Last Man Standing (1.3/5) was even with its March 7 show while The Neighbors (1.0/3) rose 11% over last week. That’s the good news. The bad news for ABC is that without a new Shark Tank setting it up, 20/20 (1.3/4) took a 27% dive from last week.
The second week of The CW’s new Friday lineup saw Whose Line Is Is Anyway (0.5/2) down 16% from its March 21 season debut. On the flip side, Hart of Dixie (0.4/1) had a good Friday in its new home. The comedy-drama went up a tenth among the 18-49s from last week.
Deadline's Dominic Patten - tip him here.