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TV Ratings: ‘Big Bang Theory’ Technically Wins While ‘Scandal,’ TGIT Dip

The days of “Must See TV” have been over for quite some time. But Thursday night was a rough one, even by modern standards in Nielsen’s preliminary ratings.

ABC actually tied with CBS in the demo for the night, unusual given the general strength of its Shondaland “TGIT” lineup, and CBS drew the biggest number of total viewers.

Still, “The Big Bang Theory” was down from its average, with a 2.9 rating in the demo and an average audience of 12.99 million. That’s nothing to sneeze at, but still below its usual haul. “The Great Indoors” followed with a 1.4 in the demo and 7.25 million viewers. “Mom” came back from a week off with a 1.5 in the demo and 7.56 million viewers. “Life in Pieces” did its usual 1.3 and 6.23 million. “Training Day” dipped slightly to a 0.7 and 4.13 million viewers.

Over on ABC, the wave of ratings erosion appears to have hit the TGIT block. “Grey’s Anatomy” ticked down to a 1.9 in the demo and an audience of 7.34 million. “Scandal” dipped to a 1.4 in the demo and 5.34 million viewers. “The Catch” premiered its second season to a meager 0.8 and 3.76 million viewers. On the plus side, TGIT did still beat out nearly all the competition in the 18-34 demo.

A couple of NBC’s affiliates were preempted for basketball. All the same, a new “Powerless,” following a “Superstore” repeat, brought in just a 0.8 in the demo and 2.54 million viewers. “Chicago Med” fell sharply from its “Voice”-boosted performance last week, back down to a 1.2 in the demo and 6.41 million viewers. “The Blacklist: Redemption” slipped to a 0.8 and 3.79 million viewers, just barely edging out “The Catch” in viewers and tying it in the demo.

Fox’s “MasterChef Junior” continues to pull its weight, coming in with a 1.1 in the demo and 3.76 million viewers. New reality series “Kicking & Screaming,” though, debuted to just a 0.7 and 2.24 million viewers.

The CW was preempted in 3.6% of the country for ACC basketball, meaning their numbers will likely be subject to some revision later in the afternoon. That said, “Supernatural” dipped slightly to a 0.5 in the demo and 1.58 million viewers. “Riverdale” held steady with a 0.4 in the demo and 1.13 million viewers.

As a reminder, daily ratings fluctuations tend to amount to mere quantum foam, and many of these series will see lifts of 50% or more once viewing within three and seven days is counted. However, most of those gains won’t translate to the ratings guarantees networks make advertisers.

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