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Thursday Ratings: ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Dips but Stays Strong for McDreamy Farewell

Male-friendly shows “The Big Bang Theory” and “The Blacklist” took a hit opposite coverage of the NFL draft last night, while ABC’s “Grey’s Anatomy” saw good results for a two-hour episode that dealt with the aftermath of last week’s storyline shocker which saw Patrick Dempsey’s Derek Shepherd exit the series. While “Big Bang” remained the night’s top program, “Blacklist” hit a series low for the second straight week.

As for the NFL draft, it averaged a combined 5.1 rating on ESPN and NFL Network, down about 25% from last year. The primary interest in last night’s opening round came in the first two picks, which came during primetime’s opening half-hour, and there weren’t as many storylines or big-name players drafted later in the first round.

At CBS, “The Big Bang Theory” averaged a 3.2 rating/12 share in adults 18-49 and 13.4 million viewers overall, according to preliminary national estimates from Nielsen — down about 10% from last week and a season low. The comedy has been hit hard by the NFL Draft in previous seasons, though this year’s falloff wasn’t as noticeable. It was Thursday’s No. 1 program in 18-49 and most other demos as well as total viewers.

“The Odd Couple” held up pretty well behind “Big Bang” at 8:30 p.m. (2.0/7 in 18-49, 9.3 million viewers overall), matching last week’s score despite the lower lead-in, and the season finale of “Mom” looked good at 9 p.m. (2.0/7 in 18-49, 8.8 million viewers overall), standing as the 9 p.m. half-hour’s No. 2 series in most categories and edging out “Grey’s Anatomy” for the lead in total viewers. Following a “Big Bang Theory” repeat at 9:30 p.m. (1.7/5 in 18-49, 7.6 million viewers overall), “Elementary” (1.2/4 in 18-49, 6.9 million viewers overall) was down a tenth from last week.

ABC’s two-hour “Grey’s Anatomy” averaged a 2.6 rating/9 share in adults 18-49 and 8.7 million viewers overall, down 0.2 from last week’s strong performance and the show’s second highest rating in its last 13 originals. One week after the death of Dempsey’s character, viewers were there at the outset last night (2.6/10 in 18-49 at 8 p.m.) before dipping at 8:30 (2.4/8); it then picked up in its second hour (2.6/8 at 9 and 2.7/8 at 9:30 p.m.), winning in most categories. Capping the night, “American Crime” (1.0/3 in 18-49, 3.8 million viewers overall) was up a tenth from last week.

ABC edged out CBS for the night’s 18-49 lead among the broadcasters while the Eye pulled ahead in 25-54 and total viewers.

At NBC, a low-rated repeat of “The Blacklist” (0.5/2 in 18-49, 3.2 million viewers overall) led into the lowest-rated original of the series to date (1.2/4 in 18-49, 6.4 million viewers overall). While last week’s 1.5 was within a tick of the show’s previous low (a 1.6 on both March 26 and April 2), last night’s score has established what’s easily the show’s low-water mark to date. “Blacklist” is a huge DVR gainer and has helped NBC improve its Thursday standing in 2015, but the net will need to surround it with stronger performers if it wants to keep the James Spader drama on this night in the fall. “Dateline” closed things out for NBC at 10 p.m. (0.9/3 in 18-49, 5.1 million viewers overall).

Fox’s “Bones” (0.9/3 in 18-49, 4.2 million viewers overall) and “Backstrom” finale (0.7/2 in 18-49, 2.8 million viewers overall) were both down a tenth from last week.

At CW, “The Vampire Diaries” (0.5/2 in 18-49, 1.2 million viewers overall) was down a tenth and will need an upward adjustment in the nationals to avoid its series low. And “Reign” held at its low level of last week (0.3/1 in 18-49, 0.9 million viewers overall).

Telemundo, with the “Billboard Latin Music Awards” (1.0/3 in 18-49, 2.6 million viewers overall) scored a rare nightly victory over Univision and finished third among the broadcasters overall in 18-49.

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: ABC, 2.0/7; CBS, 1.9/6; Telemundo, 1.0/3; NBC and Univision, 0.9/3; Fox, 0.8/3; CW, 0.4/1.

In total viewers: CBS, 8.8 million; ABC, 7.0 million; NBC, 4.9 million; Fox, 3.5 million; Telemundo, 2.6 million; Univision, 2.4 million; CW, 1.0 million.

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