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CBS, NBC Start Season Strong With 'Kevin Can Wait' And 'The Good Place'

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CBS, NBC Start Season Strong With 'Kevin Can Wait' And 'The Good Place'

The new fall season is officially underway, and the first two rookies to bow got off to a solid start.

Kevin James' return to CBS Corporation (NYSE: CBS) was warmly received by audiences, as 11.2 million tuned into the comedian's return to Monday nights. "Kevin Can Wait" debuted to 11.2 million viewers with a 2.6 in the all-important 18–49 demo. By comparison that's just 0.1 off from the 2.7 that "Life in Pieces" saw when it bowed post "The Big Bang Theory" last year.

"Kevin" also had better demo retention (72 percent vs. 55 percent), but then again, "Bang" also got off to a weaker start this season — so it is not a fair comparison. Granted once CBS' "Thursday Night Football" wraps, "Bang" heads back to Thursday, and "Kevin" will open the night, so that statistic may not be as important.

Related Link: What Investors Need To Know About The 2016 Fall TV Season

Over on NBC (Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ: CMCSA)), "The Good Place" averaged 8.1 million viewers and a 2.3 demo between its two episodes that aired after "The Voice." Like "Kevin," "Good Place" will also be on the move to Thursdays (starting this week with a bonus episode), so Monday's bow was just an early gauge on potential future reactions.

However, analysts have noted a good comparison is the debut of last year's freshman hit "Superstore," which bowed to 1.8 in the demo. "Superstore" will open for "Good Place" on a weekly basis, which bodes well for the new comedy.

The real question becomes how "Timeless" does in two weeks when it goes into the post "The Voice" slot where expectations are high. Last year's hit "Blindspot" opened to a 3.1 rating, and "Timeless" will need to debut close to that mark for it to be seen as a potential hit.

Full ratings data available on Benzinga Pro.

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