There’s nothing quite like the “death” of a titular character to juice the ratings.
ABC’s “Grey’s Anatomy” continued its hot streak Thursday, as the culmination of a three-part February sweeps storyline produced the best Nielsens for a scripted program on any network this season.
Television’s No. 1 drama averaged an 11.6 rating/27 share in adults 18-49 and 27.39 million viewers overall — its second-best numbers to date in most categories, behind its post-Super Bowl airing a year ago. In women 18-34, it matched that post-football airing as its best ever (17.0/37).
In the timeslot, perf was ABC’s strongest in adults 18-49 since at least 1991 (the start of Nielsen’s electronic demo database) and its largest overall aud there since a celeb seg of “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” in May 2000.
The 18-49 rating for this seg of “Grey’s Anatomy,” in which intern Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo) made a miracle recovery after a short visit to the afterlife, topped the previous season-best 11.2 demo rating that Fox’s “House” earned two nights earlier.
ABC also did well at 10 with its inaugural “Oprah Winfrey Oscar Special” (first-place 6.0/16 in 18-49, 15.45m), seeing the net’s best nonsports delivery in the time period in four years.
Fox’s first results-show edition of “American Idol” (on a special night) won easily at 8 o’clock (9.1/23 in 18-49, 24.44m) although the numbers repped a season low and were down vs. the same night a year ago.
CBS’ “Survivor: Fiji” (4.6/12, 13.47m) took a hit opposite the tough reality competish, but NBC laffers “My Name Is Earl” (3.6/10 in 18-49, 8.71m) and “The Office” (4.2/10, 8.25m) held up well, with the latter pulling to within 2 shares of “Idol” in men 18-34.
Following “Idol” on Fox, the series finale of “The OC” (2.8/6 in 18-49, 6.59m) hit season highs but was trounced by “Grey’s Anatomy” and CBS’ “CSI” (6.8/16, 21.78m).
Also of note Thursday was Univision’s annual awards show “Premio Lo Nuestro” (2.8/7 in 18-49, 6.34m), which was up vs. last year by about 5%. Univision was the No. 1 primetime network in adults 18-49 in Los Angeles and No. 2 in New York.
Net notes that the Hispanic aud for the kudocast was more than the combined delivery of Hispanics for last year’s Academy Awards on ABC and this year’s Golden Globe Awards on NBC and Grammy Awards on CBS.