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After shocking fans with a Patrick Dempsey cameo earlier this season, “Grey’s Anatomy” pulled the same trick again on Thursday night, as T.R. Knight’s character George O’Malley returned to Meredith’s (Ellen Pompeo) dreams.

Last night’s surprising episode managed to win the broadcast ratings race, thanks in no small part to “Thursday Night Football” being benched. “Grey’s” came in with a 1.2 rating among adults 18-49 and 5.7 million total viewers. While that topped the night, it does also represent a slight tick down from the previous episodes this season, all of which scored a 1.3 and closer to 6 million viewers. Its spinoff “Station 19” saw a more dramatic decline, dropping 20% to a 0.8 rating and 5.4 million total viewers. “A Million Little Things” rounded off the night for ABC with a 0.6 and 3.8 million pairs of eyeballs.

CBS’ entire comedy lineup was even last night, with “Young Sheldon” leading the way at a 0.8 and 7.3 million viewers. Newcomer “B Positive” and “Mom” both delivered a 0.6 and 5.2 million viewers each. “The Unicorn” scored a 0.5 and 3.6 million viewers.

NBC aired a special holiday edition of “The Voice,” which scored a 0.7 rating and 5.3 million viewers. “Law & Order: SVU” followed with a 0.6 and just over 4 million viewers, a season high tally in the audience column.

In the absence of “Thursday Night Football,” Fox aired a different kind of football (at least to those across the pond), averaging a 0.2 rating and 840,000 viewers with MLS coverage.

“Vencer El Desamor” performed strongly for Univision, coming in with a 0.5 rating and 1.6 million viewers, while “Todo Por Mi Hija” scored a 0.4 and 1.3 million viewers for Telemundo.

The CW averaged a 0.1 rating and just under 600,000 viewers across the night.