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TV Ratings: NBC’s ‘Downton Abbey’ Special Less Than Grand

NBC aired its “Return to Downton Abbey: A Grand Event” special Thursday night to mark the release of the new “Downton Abbey” movie.

However, the Dowager Countess (Maggie Smith) and co. would probably turn up their noses at the 0.4 rating and 2.8 million viewers the special achieved last night. It was beaten in the 8 p.m. time slot on each of the other three big networks by re-runs of “Young Sheldon” and “Celebrity Family Feud,” and a baseball game on Fox. It is worth noting that both Fox and ABC’s figures were likely inflated by their affiliate stations which aired “Thursday Night Football.”

The special featured interviews with celebrities, cast members and special guests who were invited to revisit the series with behind-the-scenes looks at their favorite moments from the show.

Overall it was a quiet Thursday night, with “Big Brother” emerging as the highest rated show for CBS with a 1.1 rating in the key 18-49 demographic and 4.4 million total viewers. That represents a slight decrease on the 1.2 rating and 4.6 million viewers achieved by last Thursday’s episode, but in the larger scheme of things, a 1.1 is almost exactly what the 21st season of “Big Brother” is averaging across all nights.

CBS, Fox and ABC all tied for the highest network average across the night with a 0.7, followed by NBC with a 0.3 and the CW with a 0.2.

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