Ratings: NBC’s ‘American Ninja Warrior’ Returns Strong

American Ninja Warrior Season 7 of American Ninja Warrior returned on a high as the series gets bigger and bigger.

NBC was the broadcast leader in key demos Monday thanks to a nice return for “American Ninja Warrior” and an OK start for another alternative series, “The Island.”

According to preliminary national estimates from Nielsen, “American Ninja Warrior” averaged a 1.8 rating/6 share in adults 18-49 and 5.9 million viewers overall to stand as the night’s No. 1 series in both categories. It was up 12% (0.2) from the show’s year-ago premiere, which aired from 9 to 11, and matched the show’s season finale of last summer. “Ninja” was followed by the series premiere of Bear Grylls’ latest show for the network, “The Island” (1.2/4 in 18-49, 4.0 million viewers overall). The survival series came in right between NBC’s two unscripted series launches of last summer (a 1.0 for “Food Fighters” and a 1.4 for “Running Wild with Bear Grylls”).

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: NBC, 1.6/5; ABC, 1.4/5; CBS, 0.8/3; Fox and Univision, 0.7/2; Telemundo, 0.4/1; CW, 0.3/1.

In total viewers: ABC and NBC, 5.3 million; CBS, 5.1 million; Fox, 2.3 million; Univision, 2.0 million; CW and Telemundo, 1.1 million.