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Thursday Overnights: Night 1 of the NCAA Basketball Tournament Rises on CBS

Veteran 'Grey's Anatomy' on ABC Tops Night

THURSDAY 3/15/18

Household Rating/Share
ABC: 4.1/ 7, CBS: 3.5/ 6, NBC: 2.6/ 5, Fox: 1.9/ 3, CW: 0.5/ 1

-Percent Change from the Year-Ago Evening:
CW: +25, CBS: +17, ABC: – 7, Fox: -10, NBC: -21

Ratings Breakdown:
Led by “Grey’s Anatomy,” ABC ruled on this first night of the competing NCAA Basketball Tournament. Veteran “Grey’s,” which next season will tie “ER” as the longest running medical drama in the history of television, opened with a 5.5 rating/10 share in the household overnights at 8 p.m., which topped the night. Next was “Scandal” at a second-place 3.8/ 6 in the 9 p.m. hour, followed by the season-finale of “How To Get Away With Murder” at a 3.1/ 6 at 10 p.m.

Next week, “Station 19,” the new spin-off drama from “Grey’s Anatomy,” debuts with a two-hour installment from 9-11 p.m. Effective on March 29, “Station 19” airs in the 9 p.m. hour into relocated “Scandal” at 10 p.m. for its final batch of episodes.

The CBS portion of night one of the NCAA Basketball Tournament, which is also featured on TNT, TBS and truTV, opened with an estimated 3.5/ 6 in the household overnights for the primetime portion. Comparably, this was 17 percent above the year-ago basketball coverage on the Eye net. As a reminder, results for any live sporting event are always approximate.

In week two news, NBC sitcom “Champions” got a minor boost, with a 2.1/ 3 (#3t) at 9:30 p.m. actually one-tenth of a rating point (or five percent) above its week-ago debut (2.0/ 3 on March 8). Normally, most new series drop 10 to 20 percent in week two. But the 2.1 household rating for “Champions” was still 42 percent below lead-in “Will & Grace” (#3: 3.6/ 6 at 9 p.m. – best since Jan. 4).

Earlier in the evening on NBC were comedies “Superstore” (#3: 2.8/ 5) and recent entry “A.P. Bio” (#3: 2.2/ 4) from 8-9 p.m. An encore telecast of “Chicago Fire” capped off this third Thursday in March for the network with a 2.4/ 4 (#3) from 10-11 p.m.

Elsewhere, Fox had nothing unusual to report care of drama “Gotham” (#4: 2.0/ 3 at 8 p.m.) and recent musical entry “Showtime at the Apollo” (#4: 1.9/ 3 at 9 p.m.). And The CW featured 8 p.m. special “Tough Mudder, Tougher Together” (#5: 0.5/ 1 at 9 p.m.) and a repeat of “Arrow” (#5: 0.4/ 1), which has just not resonated this season in the Thursday 9 p.m. hour.

What follows are the household overnight ratings for Thursday, March 15 broken out by half-hour:

8:00 p.m.
ABC – “Grey’s Anatomy”: 5.6/10 (#1)
CBS – 2018 NCAA Basketball Tournament: 3.2/ 6 (#2)
NBC – “Superstore”: 2.8/ 5 (#3)
Fox – “Gotham”: 2.0/ 3 (#4)
CW – “Tough Mudder, Tougher Together”: 0.5/ 1 (#5)

8:30 p.m.
ABC – “Grey’s Anatomy”: 5.3/ 9 (#1)
CBS – 2018 NCAA Basketball Tournament: 4.6/ 8 (#2)
NBC – “A.P. Bio”: 2.2/ 4 (#3)
Fox – “Gotham”: 1.9/ 3 (#4)
CW – “Tough Mudder, Tougher Together”: 0.4/ 1 (#5)

9:00 p.m.
ABC – “Scandal”: 3.9/ 6 (#2)
CBS – 2018 NCAA Basketball Tournament: 5.3/ 9 (#1)
NBC – “Will & Grace”: 3.6/ 6 (#3)
Fox – “Showtime at the Apollo”: 1.8/ 3 (#4)
CW – “Arrow” (R): 0.4/ 1 (#5)

9:30 p.m.
ABC – “Scandal”: 3.8/ 6 (#1)
CBS – 2018 NCAA Basketball Tournament: 2.8/ 5 (#2)
NBC – “Champions”: 2.1/ 4 (#3t)
Fox – “Showtime at the Apollo”: 2.1/ 3 (#3t)
CW – “Arrow”: 0.4/ 1 (#5)

10:00 p.m.
ABC – “How to Get Away With Murder” (season finale): 3.1/ 5 (#2)
CBS – 2018 NCAA Basketball Tournament: 3.2/ 6 (#1)
NBC – “Chicago Fire” (R): 2.4/ 4 (#3)

10:30 p.m.
ABC – “How to Get Away With Murder” (season finale): 3.0/ 6 (#1)
CBS – 2018 NCAA Basketball Tournament: 2.7/ 5 (#2)
NBC – “Chicago Fire” (R): 2.5/ 5 (#3)

Source: Nielsen Media Research

5 Comments

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  1. That 3.6 for Will & Grace out of that 2.2 was pretty sick that was the highest rating since Jan. 4th so that should be a 1.3 or 1.4 probably. It proves though that Mom was really affecting it all of these weeks since the TNF hiatus. This is exactly why NBC needs to improve its lead-in next season and put This Is Us there leading off or moving W&G to Tuesday nights after The Voice.

      • Yep and that’s why NBC has to make a bold move in order to give themselves a better advantage. CBS has BBT so by default they have the big advantage over NBC. NBC in reality should keep their comedies away from CBS or at least give their comedies a bigger lead-in which is why a TIU lead-in will help a lot because it’ll bring down BBT in the process as well.

        • Or move a show like Ellen’s GOG to 8pm on Thursday leading in to W&G. It would be a less expensive alternative to two comedies (that will be lucky to get above a 1.0) and provide a pretty compatible lead-in to W&G.

          • I’ve thought about that as well and I would rather do that move because it can be temporary for one season then they can add the 8pm comedy hour back in the following season. With GOG leading off pretty well I think they should’ve gone with that before W&G as I can see W&G’s audience fitting in with GOG very well.