Ratings: ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Shines Brightest as ABC Rolls Thursday With Fall Finales

ABC captured Thursday’s ratings race in key demos behind strong performances by the fall finales of “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Scandal” and “How to Get Away With Murder.” All three shows were up multiple tenths week to week, with the warhorse “Grey’s” — at an eight week high and actually up vs. its performance on the comparable night a year ago — joining “Murder” as the standouts.

According to preliminary “live plus same-day” national estimates from Nielsen, “Grey’s Anatomy” averaged a 2.5 rating/8 share in adults 18-49 an 8.5 million viewers overall. It was up 14% (0.3) week to week to its highest rating in the eight weeks since its season premiere. It also stood as ABC’s top-rated program of the night, and has now out-rated “Scandal” in two of the last three weeks.

See More: ‘Grey’s Anatomy’s’ Martin Henderson on Nathan vs. Owen, Patrick Dempsey’s Legacy

While “Grey’s” was up a tick from its year-ago fall finale, both “Scandal” (2.4/8 in 18-49, 8.1 million viewers overall) and “How to Get Away With Murder” (2.3/8 in 18-49, 7.1 million viewers overall) were down about 20%. “Scandal” continues to sag relative to recent seasons and is no longer the night’s tentpole, but it managed a 0.2 uptick from last week (up 9%) and won its hour across the board.

How to Get Away With Murder” shot up 21% (0.4) to its highest 18-49 rating since its second week of the season; oddly, its intense finale dropped off in the second half-hour (2.4 to 2.2), so perhaps its DVR playback will be even greater this week. Despite its declines in tandem with “Scandal” this fall, “Murder” continues to be a strong performer in its second season. It had been building viewers in recent weeks too, with last week’s episode matching a six-week high in Live+3 18-49 rating (3.4).

ABC won Thursday in the key demos of 18-49, 25-54 and 18-34, dominating the female half of these categories. All three TGIT shows will now go on a nearly three-month hiatus, with their winter premieres set for Feb. 11.

Numbers for CBS are again subject to revision in the finals due to preemptions for footbal, though Nashville and Jacksonville are smaller than the markets that have been affected in recent weeks. In the prelims, “The Big Bang Theory” (3.8/13 in 18-49, 15.2 million viewers overall) was the No. 1 program of the night, and was followed by “Life in Pieces” (2.0/7 in 18-49, 9.0 million viewers overall), “Mom” (1.8/6 in 18-49, 8.0 million viewers overall), “2 Broke Girls” (1.9/6 in 18-49, 6.8 million viewers overall) and “Elementary” (1.0/3 in 18-49, 6.0 million viewers overall).

NBC’s fall finales were in line with last week, with “Heroes” (1.1/4 in 18-49, 3.7 million viewers overall) and “The Blacklist” (1.5/5 in 18-49, 6.8 million viewers overall) steady and “The Player” (0.8/3 in 18-49, 3.4 million viewers overall) up a tenth in what is its series finale. For “Blacklist,” the 1.5 matched a seven-week high.

Fox’s more female-skewing dramas “Bones” (1.0/3 in 18-49, 5.2 million viewers overall) and “Sleepy Hollow” (0.8/2 in 18-49, 2.8 million viewers overall) seemed more affected by the TGIT finales on ABC, as each was down a tenth week to week. CW’s “The Vampire Diaries” was also down (0.5/2 in 18-49, 1.2 million viewers overall), but “The Originals” held steady (0.4/1 in 18-49, 0.8 million viewers overall).

 

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