The debut of Shonda Rhimes’ new series “How to Get Away With Murder” drew 14 million viewers to become Thursday night’s most-watched scripted series – beating its lead-in “Scandal” by nearly 2 million.
This gives ABC its second consecutive day of ratings bliss following Wednesday’s strong debut for “Black-ish.” According to The Hollywood Reporter, ABC is the first network to have opened two formidable freshman series this premiere week.
Capping off a night of Shonda Rhimes-produced dramas, “Murder” opened with a 3.8 rating, which put it on the same level as “Scandal” among the key demo of adults 18-49. However, “Scandal’s” 3.8 rating was actually an improvement of two-tenths of a point from last fall.
It’s total viewership was just short of 12 million, meaning a significant portion of the audience avoided “Scandal” completely before tuning back in for “Murder” at 10 p.m.”
“Grey’s Anatomy,” even entering its eleventh season, finally gave ABC something solid at 8 p.m. on Thursday. The drama returned with a 3.0 adults rating in the long-troubled time slot and 9.8 million viewers. Altogether, the Rhimes threesome gave ABC its highest-rated Thursday night in five years.
CBS won the night overall with its “Thursday Night Football” game – up from last week’s preliminary numbers by 36 percent, according to Nielsen.
Other new entries included the tenth season of Fox’s “Bones,” with a 1.6 rating in the key demo and 6.2 million viewers for its latest schedule move.
On NBC, “Parenthood” fetched a 1.4 rating among adults 18-49 (building on its steady “Biggest Loser” lead-in) and 4.3 million viewers.