TV’s silver linings are hard to find -- yet, like solar eclipses, they do arrive once in awhile.
The premiere episode of CBS’ “Young Sheldon,” a prequel to “The Big Bang Theory,” earned its comedy stripes with an eye-opening Nielsen 3.8 rating among 18-49 viewers and a big 17.2 million total viewers.
And yes, it had a very nice lead-in: the season premiere of “Big Bang Theory.” "Bang" earned a 4.1 rating among 18-49 viewers and 17.7 million total viewers.
"Sheldon" is the most-watched comedy premiere since CBS’ “2 Broke Girls,” which began in 2011. “Sheldon” will start its regular-season run November 2.
For its opening night of the new season, ABC debuted the “The Good Doctor” drama from the creators of Fox’s “House.”
“The Good Doctor” at 10 p.m. earned a healthy 2.2 rating among 18-49 viewers and 11.2 million overall without much help.
The "Doctor" lead-in was ABC's long-running “Dancing with the Stars” -- which is not connected to the drama. The season premiere for “Stars” pulled in a 1.4 rating in 18-49 viewers and 8.7 million viewers from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Perhaps we need to add in social media as a possible factor with lead-in programming.
“The Good Doctor” scored the second-highest number of authors of unique content for a TV series on the night, according to Nielsen Social Content Ratings -- 178,000 -- and was third in terms of interactions, at 285,000.
(NBC’s “The Voice” easily had the No. 1 spot, with 361,000 social uniques and 552,000 interactions.)
For “Doctor,” it signifies a strong showing for the 10 p.m. time period -- one that increasingly has been a time-shifted program viewing period. For “Sheldon,” it’s a positive note that spinoffs and lead-in programming continue to have value for TV marketers.
But in this new TV world, one night isn’t a trend. It's not even one data point. Let’s just get to Tuesday.