Fox’s Gotham premiered last night to eight million viewers, posting a strong showing against some stiff competition, which included CBS’ Big Bang Theory.
Gotham placed third among the broadcasters in 18-49 for the 8 PM slot, but it was also Fox’s best drama premier in recent years, according to Variety. Gotham also grew in the second half hour in key demographic categories, and actually was the nights’s top drama draw for men 18-49, besting both Scorpion and Blacklist.
Numbers might have been higher, but Gotham faced tough geek TV competition with CBS’ (temporary) relocation of The Big Bang Theory to the same timeslot with back-to-back originals. While comic stores bemoan hipster Sheldon impersonators visiting but not buying, there’s no denying the show’s comic-aficionado characters appeal to the geek market. Big Bang Theory was the top entertainment series among adults 18-49 after “live plus same-day” Nielsen estimates, with the first half-hour netting 17.8 million viewers overall, and the 8:30 episode netting 18.0 million. Next week Gotham will face down NCIS: Los Angeles on CBS, and while the drama/crime element is similar, the target audience will likely be less split.
ABC’s Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. which premiered on a Tuesday night, drew 11.9 million live viewers . CW’s 2012 premiere of Arrow netted only 4.02 million viewers, although that was good for the venue . AMC’s Walking Dead drew 5.3 million on its initial Sunday night airing back in 2010, then grew to 8.1 million after subsequent airings .