Ratings: ABC’s ‘Murder’ Still Strong, but Football on CBS Dominates Thursday

UPDATE: In updated national estimates released Friday afternoon by Nielsen, ABC’s “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Scandal” held at their preliminary 18-49 score, while “How to Get Away With Murder” was revised up by a tenth (2.8/9 in 18-49, 9.79 million viewers overall); as a result, the rookie was down 10% from last week while its lead-in was 3% lower.

There were no revisions at NBC, while Fox’s “Bones” adjusted up a tenth (1.7/6 in 18-49, 6.56 million viewers overall) and CW’s “Reign” edged down a tick (0.4/1 in 18-49, 1.27 million viewers overall).

The New England Patriots’ 27-25 victory over the New York Jets averaged a 5.4 rating/17 share in adults 18-49 and 16.09 million viewers overall combined on CBS and the NFL Network (with about 22% of the demo audience and 18% of the total-viewer count coming from the cabler). Through six games, CBS and NFL Network are averaging 16.1 million viewers for “Thursday Night Football” — up 79% from 9.0 million last year when the game was only on NFLN.

The fifth and final game of baseball’s National League Championship Series between the St. Louis Cardinals and San Francisco Giants averaged a 1.2/4 in 18-49 and 4.89 million viewers overall on Fox Sports 1.

 

ABC’s hot rookie “How to Get Away With Murder” cooled off a bit in its fourth week, but continues to perform well — holding most of its big “Scandal” demo lead-in on a night when a competitive matchup on CBS’ “Thursday Night Football” was the dominant program.

Reliable preliminary fast-national numbers weren’t available for the NFL game between the New England Patriots and New York Jets, but the game averaged a strong 11.6 overnight household rating/19 share on CBS and NFL Network combined. A year ago in the same week, the Seattle-Arizona matchup on “Thursday Night Football” (airing on NFL Network and over-the-air stations in the teams’ markets) averaged a mere 4.9/8.

The 11.6 overnight rating is the best during the television season for “Thursday Night Football,” lagging among all “TNF” games this fall only the opener between Pittsburgh and Baltimore on Sept. 11 (13.7/23).

Among the night’s entertainment programs, ABC again led the way with its femme-fave dramas “Grey’s Anatomy” (2.4/8 in 18-49, 8.4 million viewers overall), “Scandal” (2.9/9 in 18-49, 9.8 million viewers overall) and “How to Get Away With Murder” (2.7/9 in 18-49, 9.7 million viewers overall). “Grey’s” matched last week’s score, while “Scandal” was down 3% and “Murder” 13%. Despite the falloff, “Murder” outperformed the score of “Scandal” in the 10 p.m. hour a year ago for ABC.

There wasn’t much movement at NBC, where middle-hour rookie comedies “Bad Judge” (1.2/4 in 18-49, 4.7 million viewers overall) and “A to Z” (1.0/3 in 18-49, 3.4 million viewers overall) remain modest but steady performers. The former was down a tick from the 1.3 it did it first two weeks, while the latter matched last week’s rating.

The comedies were bookended by “The Biggest Loser” (1.3/4 in 18-49, 4.7 million viewers overall), which was up a tenth from last week, and “Parenthood” (1.3/4 in 18-49, 4.1 million viewers overall), which held at a 1.3.

Fox also was pretty steady with “Bones” (1.6/5 in 18-49, 6.4 million viewers overall), flat week to week, and “Gracepoint” (0.8/3 in 18-49, 3.8 million viewers overall), down a tenth.

At CW, both “The Vampire Diaries” (0.9/3 in 18-49, 1.9 million viewers overall) and “Reign” (0.5/1 in 18-49, 1.4 million viewers overall) rose a tenth from last week. This is the largest overall audience for “Vampire Diaries” since March, while “Reign” was up vs. the same night a year ago in women 18-34 (despite a softer “Vampire”) lead-in.

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: CBS, 3.6/11; ABC, 2.7/8; NBC, Fox and Univision, 1.2/4; CW, 0.7/2; Telemundo, 0.5/2.

In total viewers: CBS, 11.9 million; ABC, 9.3 million; Fox, 5.1 million; NBC, 4.3 million; Univision, 3.0 million; CW, 1.6 million; Telemundo, 1.2 million.

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