Supergirl Just Flew Away With a Ratings Record
CBS show was most-watched, highest-rated new show this fall
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 27, 2015 2:00 PM CDT
This image shows Melissa Benoist, left, as Kara Zor-El (aka Supergirl), and Mehcad Brooks as James Olsen in a scene from the CBS pilot for "Supergirl."   (CBS/Warner Bros. Entertainment via AP)

(Newser) – It's been 40 years since Lynda Carter brought Wonder Woman to the small screen—and 40 years since the debut of any other show centered on a female superhero on a "Big Four" network (CBS, NBC, ABC, and Fox). Monday night changed all that with the CBS premiere of Supergirl, starring Melissa Benoist in the title role, and even Kryptonite couldn't stop its momentum. The show set a record for this fall's new-series premieres, pulling in 12.9 million viewers and achieving a 3.2 rating in Nielsen's preliminary national estimates with adults ages 18 to 49, Deadline and Variety report. It helped that the show was preceded by The Big Bang Theory, which drew its own 15.9 million viewers and a 4.2 rating, and CBS is hoping the buzz won't die down as it often does for other serialized shows as the weeks pass, Entertainment Weekly notes.

If the series' immediate reception is a sign, viewers will stay riveted. Writing for the Los Angeles Times, Mary McNamara dubs the show "super-charming" and notes it fits neatly into the "army of super-females (albeit still in an exclusively Caucasian palette)" the network has been promoting via shows like The Good Wife and Madam Secretary. And in the Washington Post, Hank Stuever compiles a short list for "everything it gets right," including the writing and editing, the casting ("Benoist is one of those rare out-of-nowhere casting miracles"), the show's "easy-breezy feminism," and its "millennial wish-fulfillment." Calling the show a "world ... light-years apart from, say, HBO's Girls," he notes it's "one of the few shows on TV that seem to effortlessly embrace both the inhibitions and independence of someone who is proudly young, without a single scene that involves texting etiquette, swiping, or whining … about how hard her life is compared with everyone else's."