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ABC’s ‘Scandal’ Matches Series Low as TGIT Remains Softer in Same-Day Ratings

UPDATED WITH FINALS: It was another rough night for ABC’s one-time Thursday tentpole “Scandal,” which returned after a week off to match its series low. The net’s TGIT lineup continues to win among adults 18-49 with time-shifted viewing included — and is expected to do so once again for last night — but it no longer is the same-night ratings force it was last season or even last fall.

According to Nielsen’s “live plus same-day” national estimates for last night, “Grey’s Anatomy” led the way again for ABC (2.1 rating/7 share in adults 18-49, 7.52 million viewers overall). The medical drama was down a tenth from last week to match its season low, but placed second to CBS in most categories. Compared with a year ago, it was within about 10% of its average.

Scandal” followed at 9 p.m. (1.7/6 in 18-49, 5.97 million viewers overall), adjusting up in the nationals to match its low of two weeks ago. The Kerry Washington drama placed was on par with the CBS comedies and slightly behind Fox’s “American Idol” for the 9 p.m. hour, though “Scandal” is expected to surge past both in L+3. Compared with its first March episode of 2015, “Scandal” last night came in 43% lower in adults 18-49 (1.7 vs. 3.0) and 37% lower in total viewers (6.0 million vs. 9.6 million).

Given “Scandal’s” tumble over the past year, “How to Get Away With Murder” (1.4/5 in 18-49, 4.80 million viewers overall) is holding up reasonably well, and last night’s score matched the previous week’s result (a series low) one week from its season finale. It was the 10 p.m. broadcast leader in 18-49 as well as 25-54 (1.7/5) and 18-34 (1.0/5). In Live+3, last week’s episode gained a big 1.25 ratings points in 18-49 and 3.13 million total viewers — lifts of 91% and 69% respectively — vs. its same-day numbers. Among Thursday programs in adults 18-49, last week’s “Murder” vaulted from a No. 9 finish in same-day rankings to No. 2 in Live+3.

Elsewhere, CBS narrowly won the night in 18-49 while winning comfortably in adults 25-54 and total viewers. “The Big Bang Theory” was again the night’s No. 1 program, averaging a 3.5/13 in 18-49 and 14.68 million viewers overall, down a little from the string of 3.8 ratings it had posted. It was followed by “Life in Pieces” (2.0/7 in 18-49, 8.55 million viewers overall), “Mom” (1.7/6 in 18-49, 7.88 million viewers overall), “2 Broke Girls” (1.6/5 in 18-49, 6.54 million viewers overall) and “Elementary” (1.0/4 in 18-49, 5.64 million viewers overall).

NBC’s low-rated “You, Me and the Apocalypse” (0.5/2 in 18-49, 2.22 million viewers overall) held steady, and a special off-night repeat of “Law & Order: SVU” (0.6/2 in 18-49, 3.04 million viewers overall) followed at 9. Building nicely on its lead-in, “Shades of Blue” held steady at 10 (1.0/4 in 18-49, 4.86 million viewers overall), and can again be counted on to deliver sizable gains in delayed viewing. Last week, the already-renewed Jennifer Lopez drama grew by 0.90 ratings points in 18-49 and by 3.34 million total viewers when going from same-day to L+3 — once again among the top lifts for any series on television.

Fox’s two-hour “American Idol” averaged a 1.8/6 in 18-49 and 8.06 million viewers overall, down 10% (0.2) from last week for a season low. The show ends its 15-season run next month.

And at the CW, “DC’s Legends of Tomorrow” (0.7/3 in 18-49, 2.01 million viewers overall) and “The 100” (0.4/1 in 18-49, 1.20 million viewers overall) both were down to lows.


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