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Ratings: ABC’s ‘Quantico’ is First New Drama to Grow in Week-Two Delayed Viewing

Thursday Dramas Down; CW's Vampire Series Return Low

ABC remained the top-rated non-sports alternative on Thursday with its TGIT dramas, even if they dipped a bit more in same-day ratings this week. NBC’s “Heroes Reborn” also lost some steam in its third week, while the CW’s “Vampire Diaries” and “The Originals” had sluggish returns.

But the biggest ratings story on Friday morning came from delayed numbers for Sunday night, where ABC’s “Quantico” became the fall’s first new drama or comedy series to grow from its premiere to week 2 in adults 18-49. The new drama had already impressed by matching its week 1 same-day rating (1.9) in week 2, but it added 1.4 ratings points to its total in DVR and VOD viewing to reach a 3.3, up from a 3.1 it did with its premiere, according to Nielsen.

NBC’s new variety series “Best Time Ever With Neil Patrick Harris” grew in L+3 in its second week (2.5 vs. 2.3), thanks in large part to a stronger lead-in from “The Voice.” Among other new scripted series, CBS’ “Limitless” came closest to matching its premiere, as its week two 18-49 score in L+3 (2.8) was just a tick below its premiere rating (2.9).

In total viewers, “Quantico” again grew by more than 4 million to reach 11.05 million for its second episode, down a smidge from 11.11 for its premiere. The total-viewer lift was the second largest for any new program during the week, behind only NBC’s “Blindspot,” which grew by more than 4.5 million. Both shows air opposite football, which may be a factor in their large delayed-viewing totals.

Looking at Thursday’s action, CBS was expected to win easily with its coverage of the “Thursday Night Football” game between the Indianapolis Colts and Houston Texans. It averaged a 10.7 household rating/18 share in Nielsen’s metered markets, which is up 3% from last year’s 10.4/17 for the Week 4 game between Minnesota and Green Bay. Among this fall’s four “TNF” games, though, this is the lowest-rated, and this overnight figures to translate into a lower-5 demo rating and about 15 million total viewers in the nationals once the NFL Network’s simulcast totals are included.

At ABC, “Grey’s Anatomy” (2.1/8 in 18-49, 8.1 million viewers overall), “Scandal” (2.6/8 in 18-49, 8.7 million viewers overall) and “How to Get Away with Murder” (2.1/7 in 18-49, 7.2 million viewers overall) each were down 0.2 week to week but continues to be the strongest three-drama lineup on television in adults 18-49. (“Grey’s” and “Scandal” also appear poised to round up in the nationals, based on preliminary un-rounded estimates that have them at 2.15 and 2.65, respectively.)

At NBC, “Heroes Reborn” (1.2/4 in 18-49, 4.4 million viewers overall) lost 25% (0.4) in its third week, falling behind Fox’s “Bones” (1.3/4 in 18-49, 5.8 million viewers overall) in the night’s opening hour. “The Blacklist” (1.5/5 in 18-49, 5.8 million viewers overall) was down 17% (0.3) from its season premiere of last week, while “The Player” (0.9/3 in 18-49, 3.4 million viewers overall) held up the best, down just a tenth.

Last week’s “Heroes Reborn” added nearly a million full-episode views in seven days on nbc.com and Hulu (990,639). And among adults 18-49, last week’s episode grew to a 2.5 in L+3 and a projected 2.9 with 7-day alternate-platform viewership. And “The Blacklist” grew to a 3.15 rating in L+3 and a projected 3.3 rating in 7-day alternate-platform viewership.

For Fox, “Bones” was within a tenth of its week-ago premiere, and 9 p.m. drama “Sleepy Hollow” (1.0/3 in 18-49, 3.4 million viewers overall) matched its premiere score.

CW’s “The Vampire Diaries” (0.6/2 in 18-49, 1.4 million viewers overall) looked tired opening its seventh season, down from the 0.8-0.9 range it was doing for its first six episodes last fall. And “The Originals,” now airing behind its progenitor, matched its series lows in kicking off its season (0.4/1 in 18-49, 0.9 million viewers overall), down from its year-ago premiere on a Monday (0.7 in 18-49, 1.4 million viewers overall).

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