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ABC Tops Football-less Thursday


What follows are the fast affiliate results for Thursday, September 28 broken out by network and by each half-hour.

-Total Viewers:
ABC: 5.77 million, NBC: 5.71, CBS: 5.31, Fox: 3.64, CW: 1.07

-Adults 18-49:
ABC: 1.6 rating/6 share, CBS and NBC: 1.2/ 4 each. Fox: 0.9/ 3, CW: 0.3/ 1


8:00 p.m.

ABC – Grey’s Anatomy
Viewers: 8.44 million (#1), A18-49: 2.4/ 9 (#1)

CBS – The Big Bang Theory (R)
Viewers: 6.80 million (#2), A18-49: 1.4/ 6 (#2)

NBC – Superstore
Viewers: 4.36 million (#3), A18-49: 1.2/ 5 (#3)

Fox – Rosewood
Viewers: 3.47 million (#4), A18-49: 0.8/ 3 (#4)

CW – The Flash (R)
Viewers: 1.18 million (#5), A18-49: 0.3/ 1 (#5)


8:30 p.m.

ABC – Grey’s Anatomy
Viewers: 8.23 million (#1), A18-49: 2.3/ 8 (#1)

CBS – Kevin Can Wait (R)
Viewers: 5.49 million (#2), A18-49: 1.3/ 5 (#2)

NBC – The Good Place
Viewers: 4.38 million (#3), A18-49: 1.2/ 4 (#3)

Fox – Rosewood
Viewers: 3.73 million (#4), A18-49: 0.8/ 3 (#4)

CW – The Flash (R)
Viewers: 1.18 million (#5), A18-49: 0.4/ 1 (#5)


9:00 p.m.

ABC – Notorious
Viewers: 4.79 million (#3), A18-49: 1.2/ 4 (#3)

CBS – The Big Bang Theory (R)
Viewers: 5.83 million (#2), A18-49: 1.4/ 5 (#1)

NBC – Chicago Med
Viewers: 6.38 million (#1), A18-49: 1.3/ 4 (#2)

Fox – Pitch
Viewers: 3.61 million (#4), A18-49: 1.0/ 3 (#4)

CW – Supernatural (R)
Viewers: 953,000 (#5), A18-49: 0.3/ 1 (#5)


9:30 p.m.

ABC – Notorious
Viewers: 4.35 million (#3), A18-49: 1.0/ 3 (#3t)

CBS – Kevin Can Wait (R)
Viewers: 4.82 million (#3), A18-49: 1.2/ 4 (#2)

NBC – Chicago Med
Viewers: 7.03 million (#1), A18-49: 1.4/ 5 (#1)

Fox – Pitch
Viewers: 3.77 million (#4), A18-49: 1.0/ 3 (#3t)

CW – Supernatural (R)
Viewers: 960,000 (#5), A18-49: 0.3/ 1 (#5)


10:00 p.m.

ABC – How to Get Away With Murder
Viewers: 4.44 million (#3), A18-49: 1.3/ 5 (#1)

CBS – Bull (R)
Viewers: 4.55 million (#2), A18-49: 1.0/ 3 (#3)

NBC – The Blacklist
Viewers: 6.07 million (#1), A18-49: 1.1/ 4 (#2)


10:30 p.m.

ABC – How to Get Away With Murder
Viewers: 4.33 million (#3), A18-49: 1.2/ 5 (#1)

CBS – Bull (R)
Viewers: 4.39 million (#2), A18-49: 0.9/ 3 (#3)

NBC – The Blacklist
Viewers: 6.02 million (#1), A18-49: 1.1/ 4 (#2)

Source: Nielsen Media Research

Written by Marc Berman

Marc Berman

Marc Berman has been writing professionally since 1999 and is the author of the “Mr. Television” for Campaign US ( Most recently, Berman was the creator and Editor-in-Chief of website and newsletter TV Media Insights for Cross MediaWorks. From 1999-2011, he was the Senior Editor for Mediaweek and has also written for The New York Daily News, Variety, The Hollywood Reporter and Emmy Magazine, among others. Berman has also appeared on “Entertainment Tonight,” “Extra,” “Access Hollywood,” “Inside Edition,” “The CBS Evening News,” E!, CNN, CNBC, Fox News and MSNBC.

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    ABC Thursday Prime (8-11pm – 5.8 million and 1.6/6 in AD18-49): ABC’s drama lineup won Thursday night in Adults 18-49 (1.6/6), outdelivering NBC’s schedule by 33% (Superstore/The Good Place/Chicago Med/The Blacklist = 1.2/4) and Fox’s drama lineup by 78% (Rosewood/Pitch = 0.9/3). ABC’s lineup held steady with last week’s premiere Thursday in Adults 18-49 (1.6/6 vs. 1.7/6).

    · At 8pm, self-starter Grey’s Anatomy ranked as Thursday’s #1 TV series for the 2nd week in a row among with Adults 18-49 (2.4/9). The ABC drama was even with its week-ago Fast Affiliate rating (which adjusted up 1-tenth in the National ratings) and up 4% from its year-ago telecast (2.3/8 on 10/1/15).

    · At 9pm, ABC’s Notorious retained 100% of its week-ago debut in Adults 18-49 (1.1/4), registering the best hold so far this season for any new drama. In L+3, last week’s Notorious premiere surged 41% to 7.6 million viewers and 45% to a 1.6 Adult 18-49 rating. Head to head, ABC’s Notorious beat Fox’s Pitch in the hour by 24% in Total Viewers (4.6 million vs. 3.7 million) and 10% in Adults 18-49 (1.1/4 vs. 1.0/3), finishing as Thursday’s most-watched new show and the #1 new drama in Adults 18-49. Worth noting, the Notorious tied NBC’s Blacklist delivery on the night (1.1/4 at 10pm).

    · At 10pm, ABC’s HTGAWM beat NBC’s The Blacklist by 18% in Adults 18-49 (1.3/5 vs. 1.1/4) and held steady with its week-earlier premiere (1.4/5). Please Note in L+3: Last week’s Murder opener was premiere Thursday’s biggest gainer in the Live + 3 Day Adult 18-49 ratings with a 79% jump over its L+SD number (1.4 rating to a 2.5 rating) and also tied Grey’s as the night’s biggest absolute gainer with a +1.1 rating point spike.



    Note: In both Cincinnati and Miami, CBS ‘s prime line-up aired on alternative stations due to NFL Network coverage of Thursday Night Football. CBS’s ratings are tentative and subject to change

    · At 8:00 PM, a special rebroadcast of THE BIG BANG THEORY averaged 6.80m, 1.4 in A18-49 and 2.0 in A25-54. If ratings hold, THE BIG BANG THEORY topped a first run broadcast of “Superstore” in viewers (vs. 4.37m), A18-49 (vs. 1.2) and A25-54 (vs. 1.5).

    · At 8:30 PM, a special rebroadcast of KEVIN CAN WAIT averaged 5.49m, 1.3 in A18-49 and 1.8 in A25-54. If ratings hold, KEVIN CAN WAIT topped a first run broadcast of “The Good Place” in viewers (vs. 4.38m), A18-49 (vs. 1.2) and A25-54 (vs. 1.5).

    · At 9:00 PM, a special rebroadcast of THE BIG BANG THEORY averaged 5.83m, finishing first in A18-49 (1.4) and A25-54 (2.0).

    · At 9:30 PM, a special rebroadcast of KEVIN CAN WAIT averaged 4.82m, 1.2 in A18-49 and 1.7 in A25-54.

    · At 10:00 PM, a special rebroadcast of BULL averaged 4.47m, 0.9 in A18-49 and 1.2 in A25-54.


    The L+7 numbers for Wednesday, September 21, are in and FOX’s EMPIRE and LETHAL WEAPON posted strong gains in both Adults 18-49 and multi-platform viewing versus Live + Same Day. FOX Wednesday will also be premiere week’s highest-rated night of entertainment programming, surpassing NBC’s Monday line-up (+5%, 4.4/16 L7).

    EMPIRE’s 5.9/20 L7 is a +40% gain vs. L+SD (4.2/14), making it the highest rated entertainment program of premiere week. In multi-platform viewing, EMPIRE delivered 16.6 million viewers, up +52% compared to same day (10.9 million). LETHAL WEAPON premiered to a 3.2/12 L7, a +45% increase vs. L+SD (2.2/8), propelling it to be FOX’s highest-rated Fall debut in two years, while it brought in 11.6 million multi-platform viewers, posting +47% growth (7.9 million).

    L+7 and Multi-platform Highlights are below:

    EMPIRE (5.9/20 L7) will be the highest rated entertainment program of premiere week, beating the Big Bang Theory (5.8/21 L7).

    Since its debut, EMPIRE has posted at least a 5.4 L7 rating for all of its telecasts (31 in total). It’s been nearly nine years since any new entertainment program has sustained a comparable level of delivery (since NBC’s Heroes, 9/25/06-11/12/07).

    • The season three premiere of EMPIRE is up +52% in 7-day Total Multi-Platform Audience versus Live + Same Day (16.6 vs. 10.9 mil Persons 2+).

    • EMPIRE’s season three premiere’s 7-day Total Multi-Platform Average Audience (16.6 million Total Viewers) mark’s FOX highest 7-day Multi-Platform Average Audience since its season two finale (17.1 million, 5/18/16).

    The series premiere of LETHAL WEAPON is up +47% in 7-day Total Multi-Platform Audience versus Live + Same Day (11.6 vs. 7.9 mil Persons 2+). LETHAL WEAPON is up +16% from last year’s ROSEWOOD debut (11.6 vs. 10.0 million Persons 2+) and has earned a higher 7-Day Multi-Platform lift vs. L+SD (+47%) than ROSEWOOD’s premiere (+33%).

    LETHAL WEAPON premiered to a 3.2/12 L7, up +7% from ROSEWOOD’S year ago debut in the time period in Adults 18-49 (3.2/12 vs. 3.0/11 L7). LETHAL WEAPON won its Wed/8-9p hour, outperforming CBS’ Survivor (3.0/11 L7), ABC’s 8-9p comedies (2.9/11 L7) and NBC’s Blindspot (2.3/9 L7).

    LETHAL WEAPON was FOX’s highest rated Fall debut in two years (since GOTHAM, 9/22/14).

    FOX won Wednesday night (4.6/16 L7), beating the next highest rated competitor by +24% (ABC 3.7/13 L7).

    FOX Wednesday will also be premiere week’s highest-rated night of entertainment programming, surpassing NBC’s Monday line-up (+5%, 4.4/16 L7).

    With Wednesday’s premiere week line-up, FOX posted its highest-rated night since 1/31/16 (GREASE: LIVE).


    Behind Empire, ABC’s Designated Survivor (4.4/15 L7) ranked #2 for Wednesday night, followed by #3 Modern Family (4.3/15 L7).
    Each of ABC’s returning comedies were down from their year-ago premieres: The Goldbergs (-19%, 2.9/12 L7 vs. 3.6/12 L7), Modern Family (-20%, 4.3/15 L7 vs. 5.4/17 L7), and Black-ish (-21%, 3.0/10 L7 vs. 3.8/12 L7).
    The series premiere of Speechless (2.9/11 L7) was down -19% from last season’s premiere of The Goldbergs in the time period (3.6/12 L7, 9/23/15); while up +21% from the time period premiere of Real O’Neals last spring (2.4/8 L7).
    Designated Survivor (4.4/15 L7 L7) is the season’s second-highest rated scripted debut behind NBC’s This Is Us (4.6/17 L7). Designated Survivor doubled Nashville’s year ago premiere in the time period by (2.2/7 L7) and was up +29% from last fall’s debut of Quantico (3.4/11 L7).

    In its 33rd cycle, Survivor (3.0/11 L7) is down -9% from its prior Fall premiere (3.3/11 L7, 9/23/15) but up +15% from its Spring opener (2.6/9 L7, 2/17/16).
    Big Brother (2.6/9 L7) closed its 18th season down -4% from last year’s finale (2.7/9 L7, 9/23/15).

    Blindspot (2.3/9 L7) posted a new series low in its 8p time period, down -12% from its week ago season two premiere (2.6/10 L7) following America’s Got Talent at 10p.
    Law & Order: SVU (3.1/11 L7) was up +3% from its year-ago season opener (3.0/10 L7, 9/23/15) and Chicago PD (2.7/9 L7) was steady year-to-year.

  4. NBC looks in better shape on this night than I have seen it. Not perfect by any means but at least it’s not DOA looking anymore. The Blacklist episode from last night was insane in those last 5 minutes. A lot of minds are going to shift on what they think of Reddington after that.

    ABC, on the other hand, outside of Greys has fallen apart entirely from years past.

    • I agree the only thing dragging down Thursdays are the two comedies they need to find something better there but it looks like Chicago Med and The Blacklist are working back-to-back.

      Yeah ABC has fallen off big-time outside of Grey’s I remember how strong this block was around this time of year just 2 years ago when Murder first came out.

      • Scandal started to go down after the controversial abortion episode. I noticed after that episode, the ratings trended downward so I guess in the minds of many that was a jump the shark moment of some sort. Dragged Murder down with it

        • Scandal never did that well. It started poorly and got a big push when Oprah decided to push it at the end of its first season.

          You are right it has gone down further recently, but that was from already so-so numbers.

          To my mind, casting Kerry Washington was the downfall of that show (kind of the reverse of HTGAWM which has a very good lead but is not working).

      • I will remind all of you that Thursdays used to be the most-watched night of television, with shows going against each other getting huge ratings.

        NBC having 6-7 million viewers for two shows may be better than ABC, but it’s not good by any stretch of the imagination.

        Thursday’s current overall ratings are actually worse than Fridays (and NBC stopped programming Fridays apparently!)

  5. Those are shockingly awful overall numbers.

    I wonder when we’ll start hearing “but you can’t get viewers to watch TV on Thursdays” as an excuse.

    HTGAWM is doing predictably disastrous numbers and gets no help from apparent insta-flop Notorious.

    Time for ABC to wonder if Shonda Rhymes isn’t a one-hit wonder (which granted is still better than the Rob Thomas and Greg Berlantis of the Hollywood World).

      • Sounds simplistic, but it really is as simple as that. It’s only complicated for the people currently making the decisions.