×

Season high for ‘Grey’s’

Ratings Flash - Rick Kissell

The best numbers of the season for “Grey’s Anatomy” and a good showing for an Oprah Winfrey special carried ABC to victory on the final Thursday of the February sweep. Fox won the evening’s opening hour with a special “American Idol.”

According to preliminary nationals from Nielsen, the culmination of a three-episode story arc on “Grey’s Anatomy” (11.6 rating/27 share in adults 18-49, 27.3 million viewers overall) delivered the show’s second best numbers (behind only its post-Super Bowl airing) and the best for any scripted telecast this season. In the time period, it’s the best demo performance for ABC since at least 1991.

The Alphabet also ruled at 10 with the “Oprah Winfrey Oscar Special” (6.2/16 in 18-49, 15.8 million viewers overall), which posted the net’s best numbers in the hour since a Michael Jackson special four years ago.

Fox won the night’s leadoff hour with a special results show edition of “American Idol” (9.0/23 in 18-49, 24.2 million viewers overall) but auds didn’t stick around for the series finale of “The OC” at 9 (2.8/6 in 18-49, 6.7 million viewers overall).

At CBS, “Survivor: Fiji” (4.6/12 in 18-49, 13.6 million viewers overall) took a hit opposite “Idol” but placed second, as did 9 o’clock drama “CSI” (6.7/15 in 18-49, 21.6 million viewers overall). “Shark” (3.9/10 in 18-49, 14.3 million viewers overall) closed out the night in its closest finish yet opposite NBC’s “ER” (4.0/11 in 18-49, 9.9 million viewers overall), although both were defeated by Oprah.

NBC held up pretty well opposite “Idol” with comedies “My Name Is Earl” (3.6/10 in 18-49, 8.7 million viewers overall) and “The Office” (4.2/10 in 18-49, 8.2 million viewers overall). And at 9:30, “30 Rock” (2.4/5 in 18-49, 4.6 million viewers overall) retained a best-yet 86% of its demo lead-in from “Scrubs” (2.8/6 in 18-49, 5.7 million viewers overall).

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: ABC, 7.0/17; Fox, 5.9/14; CBS, 5.1/13; NBC, 3.5/9; Univision, 2.6/6; CW, 0.9/2.

In total viewers: ABC, 17.6 million; CBS, 16.5 million; Fox, 15.4 million; NBC, 7.8 million; Univision, 5.9 million; CW, 2.3 million.

Popular on Variety

More TV

  • BritBox Is 'Not a Rival to

    BritBox 'Not a Rival to Netflix and Amazon' but Something Different, ITV Exec Says

    BritBox, ITV and the BBC’s joint “best of British” streaming service, is not being positioned as a rival to Netflix and Amazon but offers something those two streaming giants don’t, ITV director of television Kevin Lygo said. Speaking at the Edinburgh TV Festival on Friday, Lygo said BritBox would be a “different thing” that allowed [...]

  • Stefano Sollima for Web Story

    'ZeroZeroZero' Creator on Making an Old Story New and How Andrea Riseborough Got Hurt (EXCLUSIVE)

    Stefano Sollima, the Italian director known in Hollywood for “Sicario: Day of the Soldado” and TV show “Gomorrah,” is the main creative force behind cocaine-trafficking series “ZeroZeroZero,” which will world premiere at the Venice Film Festival on Sept. 5. Festival chief Alberto Barbera has praised it as blowing “Narcos” out of the water. Sollima directed [...]

  • Ballers HBO

    'Ballers' to End After Season 5 on HBO

    “Ballers” is coming to an end after five seasons on HBO. Star and executive producer Dwayne Johnson confirmed the news via an emotional Instagram video. “My heart is full of gratitude to all of you for rocking with us every season. You made us HBO’s highest rated comedy for years and most importantly, you helped [...]

  • Sublime Primetime

    How Emmy-Nominated Writers’ Rooms Keep Politics in Mind

    In a world filled with elections, social movements and national tragedies, how open should the doors of a writers’ room actually be? For some of this year’s Emmy-nominated shows, those doors are wide open. Before the 71st annual Primetime Emmy Awards air on Sept. 22, the Writers Guild of America West and Writers Guild Foundation, [...]

  • Disney Villains Series 'Book of Enchantment'

    'Book of Enchantment' Series Based on Iconic Disney Villains Shelved at Disney Plus

    Disney Plus has decided to not move forward with “Book of Enchantment,” a series based on some of Disney’s most iconic villains, Variety has learned from sources. The news comes the day before Disney is set to unveil its streaming service at the biannual D23 convention in Anaheim. The prospective project was based on the [...]

  • ITV STUDIOS PRESENTS VERAFILM 2Pictured: BRENDA

    Brenda Blethyn to Star in New ITV Sitcom 'Kate and Kolo'

    Oscar-nominated Brenda Blethyn is set to star in the new sitcom “Kate and Kolo” for ITV, the U.K. broadcaster announced at the Edinburgh TV Festival. Blethyn takes on the title role of Kate in the comedy alongside theater and film actor Jimmy Akingbola as Kolo. Blethyn is a popular star with ITV audiences after having [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content