Intelligence is most-watched new show of the season (but there's a BIG catch)

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Jan 8, 2014, 4:45 PM EST

Josh Holloway’s (Lost) new sci-fi series Intelligence debuted Tuesday night and positively dominated in the ratings — making it the biggest new show of the fall on any network. But there’s just one catch.

The pilot episode of the spy series, which works as a solid Chuck-meets-NCIS hybrid, brought in a jaw-dropping 16.6 million viewers, giving it the overall viewership crown for any debut this season. So it’s a huge success, right? Well, not exactly.

Despite the impressive overall viewership numbers, the show scored a relatively average (and pretty darn low, considering the overall numbers) 2.4 rating in the critical 18-49 demographic rating. For the sake of comparison: Cable hit Walking Dead does similar overall ratings but averages a 6+ rating in the key demo. Even ABC’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. put up a similar 2.1 in the demo, with just a fraction of the overall viewership at 6.4 million.

Though nobody is sure why the show proved somewhat unattractive to young viewers, its place on the schedule might offer a hint. The debut episode followed CBS’s ratings juggernaut (and your dad’s favorite show) NCIS, which typical skews toward an older audience overall. But even taking that into account, Intelligence had a lower 18-49 score than NCIS -- which is troubling, especially since the new show was built to attract younger viewers.

It’ll definitely be interesting to see how the series fares once it shifts over to its regular timeslot on Monday nights, and if it can find a way to draw in younger eyeballs to ensure its continued existence. Like it or not, attracting the 18-49 audience is critical for advertiser support, and without that, no show can survive.

Did you check out the pilot? Did you like it? Did you watch it with your parents?

(Via Entertainment Weekly)