The premiere of celebrity diving show Splash gave ABC a ratings springboard on Tuesday night delivering 8.8 million viewers and a healthy 2.6 rating among adults 18-49.
The numbers were big enough to make Splash the top unscripted series debut on broadcast TV since Fox’s The X Factor first premiered in 2011.
Splash opened way ahead of its unscripted competition, beating Fox’s Hell's Kitchen in the hour by 3.9 million viewers and by 30% in Adults 18-49. It ranked #1 in the hour with W18-34, tying NCIS.
The new show gained audience throughout its premiere, building in viewers (+3%) and young adults (+8%) from its first half-hour to its second half-hour.
In addition, Splash delivered ABC's top Adult 18-49 rating in the hour with series programming in nearly 1-1/2 years - since 10/18/11.