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Ratings: ‘Blacklist’ Solidifies, ‘Sleepy Hollow’ Hits Low in Thursday Premieres

UPDATED WITH FINALS: There was plenty of drama on television Thursday night, with an overtime NFL game and the debuts of returning hours on Fox contributing to expected second-week declines for shows like ABC’s “Scandal” and NBC’s “Heroes.” ABC claimed the night’s top three entertainment shows in young adults with its TGIT dramas, while NBC had to be pleased that “The Blacklist” rebounded from its weak spring to return with solid numbers and its “Heroes” continues to look pretty good.

Not so hot on the second Thursday of the television season was the third-season premiere of Fox’s “Sleepy Hollow,” which set a series low, and week two for NBC’s “The Player,” which fell a couple of pegs from its already-soft premiere.

According to “live plus same-day” national estimates from Nielsen, ABC’s “Grey’s Anatomy” (2.3 rating/8 share in adults 18-49, 8.58 million viewers overall) and “Scandal” (2.8/9 in 18-49, 9.12 million viewers overall) both lost 0.5 week to week, while “How to Get Away With Murder” (2.3/8 in 18-49, 7.53 million viewers overall) and at its low. The Shonda Rhimes dramas were the night’s top three non-sports programs in 18-49, 25-54 and 18-34.

At NBC, “Heroes Reborn” (1.6/6 in 18-49, 5.00 million viewers overall) was down about 20% from its two-hour premiere of last week but still at a workable number for the network. In 18-49, it beat Fox’s competing season premiere of “Bones” (1.4/5 in 18-49, 6.20 million viewers overall) and improved the time period from last year with “The Biggest Loser” (1.3) by 23%. For “Bones,” it was down a reasonable 0.2 from its year-ago premiere in the same hour.

The Blacklist” kicked off its third season at 9 p.m (1.8/6 in 18-49, 7.76 million viewers overall), down 25% from its time-period premiere of last February (2.4, a few days after its post-Super Bowl episode) but certainly above its fading numbers of last spring, when it got as low as a 1.2 in same-night ratings and closed with a 1.4. Capping the night, “The Player” (1.0/3 in 18-49, 4.58 million viewers overall) fell 0.2 from its week-ago premiere (1.2).

For the night, and despite losing ground at 10 p.m. with “The Player,” NBC was up a bit from the comparable Thursday of a year ago.

Fox’s “Sleepy Hollow” (1.0/3 in 18-49, 3.46 million viewers overall) continued its rapid descent as it returned with its first episode in more than seven months and on a new night. It came down 50% from its second-season debut on Monday last fall (2.0) and 0.4 lower than its season finale on the night in February.

CBS’ “Thursday Night Football” won the night with its combined telecast with NFL Network of the Baltimore Raven’s 23-20 overtime victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers. The game averaged a 6.9 rating/23 share in adults 18-49 and 19.43 million viewers overall — the third highest demo rating and the fourth largest total-viewer count since the Eye started carrying “TNF” last season. Through three games, “Thursday Night Football” is tracking 20% ahead of last season (19.3 million vs. 16.1 million).

CW aired repeats last night, and its “The Vampire Diaries” and “The Originals” will add to a crowded night for dramas when they make their season premieres next week.

LAST THURSDAY’S TOP SHOWS IN LIVE+3

(Adults 18-49 rating)
……………………………………………. L+3 ……. L+SD ……. Lift
1.  Thursday Night Football (CBS)* …… 6.0 ……   6.0 …….. 0.0 (0%)
2.  Scandal (ABC) ………………………. 4.8 ……   3.3 …….. 1.5 (45%)
3.  Grey’s Anatomy (ABC) ……………… 4.1 ……   2.8 …….  1.3 (46%)
4.  How to Get Away w/Murder (ABC) … 4.1 …….  2.6 …….  1.5 (58%)
5.  Heroes (NBC) ……………………….. 3.1 …….  2.0 …….  1.1 (55%)

Total Viewers (in millions)
……………………………………………. L+3 ……. L+SD ……… Lift
1.  Thursday Night Football (CBS)* …… 16.98 ……  16.88 …….. 0.10 (1%)
2.  Scandal (ABC) ………………………. 14.01 …..   10.25 …….. 3.76 (37%)
3.  Grey’s Anatomy (ABC) ……………… 12.29 ……   9.55 …….  2.74 (29%)
4.  How to Get Away w/Murder (ABC) … 12.24 …….  8.38 …….  3.86 (46%)
5.  Heroes (NBC) ………………………… 8.70 ……..  6.09 …….  2.61 (43%)

Source: Nielsen            *NFL Network’s simulcast totals included as part of the CBS average

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