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‘Scandal’ Hot, ‘Surviving Jack’ Bow Soft on Thursday

CBS captured Thursday’s primetime ratings race in key demos with its second week of March Madness, but it was a good night for scripted drama too as ABC’s “Scandal” and “Grey’s Anatomy” — the top two series of the night — and NBC’s “Parenthood” showed gains. Fox’s tough spring continued, though, as its new comedy “Surviving Jack” opened to modest numbers.

College basketball action continued on CBS last night, with the primetime averages of 2.5 rating/8 share in adults 18-49 and 7.8 million viewers overall up about 10% from the comparable night a year ago, according to preliminary national estimates from Nielsen. The Eye won the night in 18-49, 25-54 and total viewers, though ABC figures to move ahead with DVR playback.

At ABC, “Once Upon a Time in Wonderland” (0.9/3 in 18-49, 3.3 million viewers overall) was up a smidge from last week but finished fourth among the Big Four in its timeslot. The net soared from there, though, as “Grey’s Anatomy” (2.5/7 in 18-49, 8.1 million viewers overall) again nearly tripled its lead-in and was up vs. last week by 4% in 18-49 (and likely 8% in the nationals, with a projected 2.6). And finishing off the night, “Scandal” (3.1/9 in 18-49, 8.8 million viewers overall) rose 7% week to week to draw its top demo rating since its mid-season return on Feb. 27.

Fox’s “Hell’s Kitchen” (1.8/6 in 18-49, 4.6 million viewers overall) was on par with last week, while “American Idol” (1.9/6 in 18-49, 7.9 million viewers overall) was down slightly to match its low. The music contest, which finished third in its time period among adults 18-49, was followed by the series premiere of Chris Meloni laffer “Surviving Jack” (1.3/4 in 18-49, 5.1 million viewers overall). “Jack,” which generated mostly favorable reviews, retained 68% of its lead-in and barely finished ahead of a repeat gameshow on NBC.

At NBC, “Parenthood” (1.4/4 in 18-49, 5.1 million viewers overall) had its best numbers since Oct. 2, and could be benefiting from the absence of “Elementary” in the time period; this was the second straight week of growth for the veteran drama. The net aired encores of “Hollywood Game Night” at 8 (1.2/4 in 18-49, 4.6 million viewers overall) and 9 (1.1/3 in 18-49, 3.7 million viewers overall), with the earlier episode drawing the show’s largest overall audience to date for a Thursday airing.

At CW, “The Vampire Diaries” hit a low (0.7/2 in 18-49, 1.7 million viewers overall), but lead-out “Reign” held up well (0.6/2 in 18-49, 1.5 million viewers overall) and retained a larger chunk of its lead-in.

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: CBS, 2.5/8; ABC, 2.2/7; Fox, 1.7/5; NBC, 1.2/4; Univision, 1.0/3; CW, 0.7/2; Telemundo, 0.4/1.

In total viewers: ABC, 7.8 million; CBS, 6.8 million; NBC, 5.9 million; Fox, 4.3 million; Univision, 2.6 million; CW, 1.6 million; Telemundo, 1.2 million.

 

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