ABC’s ‘How to Get Away With Murder’ Doubles Debut Rating in Multi-Platform Viewing

In 18-49, it outdrew the tune-in of 'Grey's Anatomy' in 2005

How to Get Away With Murder Premiere Ratings Double

ABC’s “How to Get Away With Murder” generated strong tune-in on the night it premiered last month, but the number of young adults who ended up watching it within a two-week period has nearly doubled thanks to multi-platform viewing.

The network on Thursday said that the combination of post-premiere night DVR playback and viewing done either via VOD or online has vaulted the series’ premiere rating in the adults 18-49 demo from 3.78 to 7.49. (Each adults 18-49 ratings point this season represents 1.6298 million viewers, according to Nielsen Universe estimates, so that equates to about 9.5 million viewers in the age group.)

As an interesting sidenote, ABC says that the 7.5 rating for the “How to Get Away With Murder” premiere is bigger than the series premiere of “Grey’s Anatomy” in March 2005 (7.2 rating). Of course, that 7.2 rating was all live viewing, as Nielsen didn’t begin tracking DVR usage until the fall of 2006.

The other shows on ABC’s “TGIT” lineup also saw nice increases. “Grey’s Anatomy” hiked its 18-49 rating by 79% from same-night (3.06) to 14 days of multi-platform viewing (5.47), and “Scandal” surged 69% (from 3.85 to 6.49).

So even though “Scandal” rated higher in same-night viewing (3.85 to 3.75), “How to Get Away With Murder” surged ahead over the course of the two weeks (7.5 to 6.5).

Through four weeks this fall, according to Nielsen’s “most current” estimates, ABC’s Thursday lineup is up vs. last year by 22% in adults 18-49 rating (3.9 vs. 3.2) and 34% in total viewers (12.6 million vs. 9.4 million). In both categories, this is the net’s best showing on the night to open a season in five years (start of 2009-10 season).

The 14-day multi-platform rating for “Murder” (7.49) is broken down as follows:

  • 3.78 rating for live and same-night viewing
  • 1.95 rating for DVR playback and video-on-demand during days 1-3
  • 0.38 rating for DVR playback done on days 4-7
  • 1.39 rating for VOD done during days 4-14 (according to Rentrak) and online for all 14 days (according to Uplynk, Hulu/FreeWheel)