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‘How to Get Away With Murder’ Goes Out On a High as ABC Dominates Thursday

UPDATE: In updated Nielsen estimates released Friday afternoon, ratings leader ABC was the only broadcaster whose demo ratings didn’t budge. In total viewers, the final counts were 8.33 million for “Grey’s Anatomy,” 10.15 million for “Scandal” and 9.82 million for “How to Get Away With Murder.”

Univision’s coverage of the Latin Grammy Awards averaged a 2.0 rating/6 share in adults 18-49 and 4.8 million total viewers — up more than 10% in both categories vs. last year. It ranked No. 2 among all broadcasters in adults 18-34 (behind only ABC), and Univision was the No. 1 broadcaster in 18-49 during the Latin Grammys in Los Angeles, Miami, Houston, Dallas and Phoenix.

As expected CBS and NBC saw the most revisions due to preemptions/delays for an NFL game. “The Big Bang Theory” edged up (4.1/13 in 18-49, 14.61 million viewers overall), while “Mom” (2.5/8 in 18-49, 10.19 million viewers overall) and “Two and a Half Men” (2.2/6 in 18-49, 8.62 million viewers overall) came down a bit. The back half of the night held at their prelim levels, with “The McCarthys” (1.4/4 in 18-49, 6.26 million viewers overall) and “Elementary” (1.0/3 in 18-49, 6.49 million viewers overall) also steady week to week.

At NBC, a 43-minute episode of “The Biggest Loser” averaged a 1.1/3 in 18-49 and 4.46 million viewers overall; the first 17 minutes aired in some markets, but will not count in final ratings. The rest of the night all lost at least 0.2 in the nationals: “Bad Judge” (0.9/3 in 18-49, 3.46 million viewers overall), “A to Z” (0.7/2 in 18-49, 2.44 million viewers overall) and “Parenthood” (1.3/4 in 18-49, 3.99 million viewers overall).

Fox’s “Gracepoint” (0.7/2 in 18-49, 3.12 million viewers overall) and CW’s “Reign” (0.3/1 in 18-49, 1.10 million viewers overall) each came down 0.1 in the nationals.

NFL Network’s game between Kansas City and Oakland averaged a 2.7 demo rating and 7.65 million viewers overall to lead cable for the night.


On a Thursday when President Obama’s address on immigration resulted in scattered delays that make the primetime prelims murkier than usual, one thing was clear: ABC had another good night.

Though CBS’ “The Big Bang Theory” remained the night’s top program overall, the Alphabet prevailed in the adults 18-49 demo for a fourth time in four tries during the November sweep behind the fall finales of “TGIT” dramas “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Scandal” and “How to Get Away With Murder.”

“How to Get Away With Murder” (3.1 rating/10 share in adults 18-49, 9.8 million viewers overall) hit a six-week high in young adults and beat its combined CBS-NBC drama competition. It tied with lead-in “Scandal” (3.1/9 in 18-49, 10.0 million viewers overall), which was down a tick from last week, as Thursday’s top series in the 18-49 demo.

Kicking off the night, “Grey’s Anatomy” (2.4/7 in 18-49, 8.3 million viewers overall) matched last week’s score, placing second to the CBS comedy block.

This marks the first time in at least 23 years (Nielsen records go back to 1991) that ABC has been the top-rated broadcaster on all four sweeps Thursdays in adults 18-49. For the season, ABC is off to its best start on Thursdays in five years.

ABC’s “Thank God It’s Thursday” topped the social rankers last night, with “Scandal” ranking No. 1 overall (442,569 tweets), according to Nielsen Twitter data. Each series delivered its second highest social performance since their premieres in September.

“Grey’s,” “Scandal” and “How to Get Away With Murder” will return in late January with their winter premieres. The net will be airing two-hour episodes of cooking competition “The Taste” and encores of “Murder” for the next couple of months.

It also appears to have won in total viewers, averaging about 500,000 more than CBS in the prelims.

CBS aired the NFL football game between the Kansas City Chiefs and Oakland Raiders during the first hour of primetime on its Bay Area station, so its numbers will be revised in the nationals. The game did a 5.1/17 in 18-49 for the 8 o’clock hour.

In the prelims, “The Big Bang Theory” (4.0/13 in 18-49, 14.6 million viewers overall) was at a season low, but “Mom” (2.7/8 in 18-49, 10.6 million viewers overall) was in line with last week. “Two and a Half Men” was up a bit (2.3/7 in 18-49, 9.0 million viewers overall) while “The McCarthys” (1.4/4 in 18-49, 6.4 million viewers overall) and “Elementary” (1.0/3 in 18-49, 6.4 million viewers overall) remained at their low levels.

Univision, which aired the Latin Grammy Awards, averaged a 2.0/6 in 18-49 and 4.5 million viewers overall during primetime, though its numbers are especially hard to read given that the network aired the presidential address across the country. In the prelims, it finished a tick behind runner-up CBS in 18-49.

At NBC, which aired the football game in Kansas City, “The Biggest Loser” was up slightly week to week (1.3/4 in 18-49, 5.2 million viewers overall), while “Bad Judge” (1.2/3 in 18-49, 4.1 million viewers overall), “A to Z” (0.9/3 in 18-49, 3.0 million viewers overall) and “Parenthood” (1.5/4 in 18-49, 4.6 million viewers overall) all saw bigger jumps that figure to come down in the nationals.

The prelims were about steady week to week for Fox’s “Bones” (1.3/4 in 18-49, 5.2 million viewers overall) and “Gracepoint” (0.8/2 in 18-49, 3.2 million viewers overall) as well as CW’s “The Vampire Diaries” (0.8/2 in 18-49, 1.7 million viewers overall) and “Reign” (0.4/1 in 18-49, 1.2 million viewers overall).

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: ABC, 2.9/9; CBS, 2.1/6; Univision, 2.0/6; NBC, 1.3/4; Fox, 1.0/3; CW and Telemundo, 0.6/2.

In total viewers: ABC, 9.4 million; CBS, 8.9 million; Univision, 4.5 million; NBC, 4.4 million; Fox, 4.2 million; Telemundo, 1.6 million; CW, 1.4 million.

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