A new, sixth episode of NBC’s syrupy romantic family drama, “This Is Us,” led Tuesday night’s primetime fast affiliate ratings both in total viewers and in the key, adults ages 18-49 demographic, proving that TV watchers in the U.S. are craving comfort, sappiness and tear-inducing plotlines in a not-so uplifting time. The 9 p.m. telecast of the episode, titled “Birth Mother,” drew in a 0.9 rating in the key demo and 5.31 million viewers, improving upon last week’s total 5.2 million viewers and showing substantial boosts after its unimpressive fifth season debut ratings in October.
Runnerup in the Nielsen+Live Same Day ratings for Tuesday was the season four return of cynical medical drama “The Resident” on Fox, which pulled a 0.6 rating in the key 18-49 demo, and 3.77 million viewers at 8 p.m. Notably, the premiere was down about 28.6% in the key demo and down roughly 7% in total viewers compared to last season’s launch.
Elsewhere at 8 p.m., ABC flexed its Disney muscle and ran the 2014 Marvel flick “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” produced by Kevin Feige and starring now-retired Avenger, Chris Evans. The special telecast lured in 2.23 million viewers, leaving the film with a rating of 0.4 in the key demo and settling in sixth place. A new episode of “Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist” in the same time slot garnered a 0.4 rating and 2.6 million viewers, a substantial increase compared to last season’s average of 2.0 million in total viewers for live + same day viewing.
Fox’s second season debut of the night, “Prodigal Son” at 9 p.m., drew a rating of 0.5 in the key demo and 2.30 million viewers but also plummeted compared to the previous season’s premiere numbers (-47.92%, -43.05%).
Throughout the evening, CBS ran reruns of “NCIS” (0.5, 5.12) at 8 p.m. and “FBI” (0.5, 4.35) at 9 p.m., securing third and fourth place in Tuesday’s primetime ratings, and seventh for “FBI: Most Wanted” (0.4, 3.92) at 10 p.m. Also on at 10 was NBC’s “Nurses,” which drew a 0.4 in the 18-49 demographic and 2.6 million viewers.
The CW series start of Canadian CBC supernatural drama “Trickster” got a rating of 0.1 in the key demo and lured in 0.44 million viewers at 9 p.m., coming in last in overall ratings for both the key demo and total viewers of the night. Ahead of “Trickster” in overall ratings was the back-to-back “Two Sentence Horror Stories” season two debut, which ran first at 8 p.m. (0.1, 0.58) and again at 9 p.m. (0.1, 0.47), down about 16.7 % in the key demo compared to the first season’s premiere.