A rough winter for ABC continued Thursday when its signature night of dramas fell to its lowest average to date and slipped behind both Fox and CBS in the young adults demo. Also of note, NBC’s “You, Me and the Apocalypse” fell to dangerously low ratings and may be in danger of exiting the schedule, but the net’s new drama “Shades of Blue” continues to perform solidly.
According to preliminary national estimates, ABC was led once again by leadoff hitter “Grey’s Anatomy” (2.2/8 in 18-49, 7.8 million viewers overall), which was down a modest 0.2 from its winter premiere of last week and placed second for its hour in key demos; it matched its season low. Seeing steeper declines and losing competitive ground in their timeslots, though, were “Scandal” (1.7/6 in 18-49, 6.1 million viewers overall) and “How to Get Away With Murder” (1.4/5 in 18-49, 4.8 million viewers overall), which combined to draw about half as many adults under 50 as the comparable night a year ago.
“Scandal” placed second for its hour in 18-49, behind “American Idol,” and finished only a bit ahead of CBS comedies; it was down 0.4 from last week (though possibly 0.3 in the finals as it currently sits at 1.75) to a series low. Also down 0.4 to its low was “Murder,” though it was able to remain the series leader for its hour in 18-49 and 25-54 (1.8/5) and is easily the top-rated 10 p.m. performer for the net across this week.
While ABC finished third for the night in 18-49, it was close enough in the prelims (0.1 behind CBS and 0.2 behind Fox) that it could emerge on top with three days’ of delayed viewing included. Last week, the network finished in a tie with Fox for the lead in the prelims but ended up pulling away from the net in Live+3 by 32%.
Elsewhere, CBS held strong opening the night with “The Big Bang Theory” (3.7/13 in 18-49, 14.9 million viewers overall), which appears poised to match last week’s score and was Thursday’s No. 1 program in 18-49 by a whopping 68% margin. Also on par with last week were “Life in Pieces” (2.1/7 in 18-49, 9.5 million viewers overall) and “Mom” (1.8/6 in 18-49, 8.7 million viewers overall), while the time period debut of “2 Broke Girls” (1.5/5 in 18-49, 6.4 million viewers overall) looks to be a slight improvement over previous slot occupant “Angel From Hell.” At 10 p.m., “Elementary” dipped a tenth (1.0/4 in 18-49, 5.9 million viewers overall), winning its hour in total viewers.
At NBC, “You Me and the Apocalypse” (0.6/2 in 18-49, 2.6 million viewers overall) dropped 0.2 to deliver half of its passable premiere rating of last month. Its decline seemed to drag down “The Blacklist” (1.3/4 in 18-49, 5.9 million viewers overall), which hit a season low, but “Shades of Blue” held steady at 10 p.m. (1.1/4 in 18-49, 5.3 million viewers overall). Last week, both dramas shot up by more than 80% in Live+3.
The Jennifer Lopez-Ray Liotta drama “Shades of Blue” continues to perform solidly for the network, moving ahead of “Elementary” in 18-49 and surpassing “How to Get Away With Murder” in total viewers. Specifically in the demo, NBC was able to close a gap that was a big 2.0 ratings points in 18-49 a year ago to just 0.3 last night.
Fox’s two-hour “American Idol” (2.0/7 in 18-49, 8.1 million viewers overall) was down a tick from last week and tied with ABC for second place from 8 to 10 in 18-49. For a second straight week, it was soft opening the night opposite “The Big Bang Theory,” before spiking and holding pretty steady over its final 90 minutes.
At CW, “DC’s Legends of Tomorrow” (0.8/3 in 18-49, 2.3 million viewers overall) was down a tenth, while “The 100” (0.5/2 in 18-49, 1.4 million viewers overall) held steady. “Legends” saw some nice growth in adults 18-34 (0.8/3) and men 18-34 (1.0/5), rising to some of its best numbers since its first two weeks.