UPDATE: ABC just announced that it will preempt tonight’s episode of Private Practice to rebroadcast the premiere of Off the Map that was impacted by the Tucson memorial-related scheduling shifts last night. That will give the Shonda Rhimes-produced new medical drama the strongest and most compatible lead-in, an original of Rhimes’ flagship medical drama Grey’s Anatomy.
PREVIOUS 9:30PM: The coverage of the Tucson memorial from 8:39-9:20PM wreaked havoc in the broadcast network’s primetime lineups last night, with a lot of unannounced, last minutes shifts and pre-emptions. The chaos may have taken a toll on the premiere of ABC’s new drama Off the Map (2.2/6 in 18-49, 7.5 million viewers), one of only 3 first-run shows last night to start at their scheduled times. It was a low start for the medical drama executive produced by Shonda Rhimes, which was down 41% from its lead-in, Modern Family (3.7/10 in the 9:30-10 PM half-hour) and also slipped 13% from its first to second half-hour. Still, Off the Map‘s performance represented a dramatic improvement in the time slot for ABC, which had been struggling mightily there with the now-canceled The Whole Truth. The 10 PM hour was won by NBC’s Law & Order: SVU (2.5/7), which was down 14% from its two-hour telecast last week. The third original to start on time last night was ABC’s The Middle (3.1/9, 10.5 million), which had another great showing at 8 PM, up 11% from last week to hit series highs in 18-49 and total viewers. The rest of last night’s primetime was a mess, which will be easier to decipher later today when national ratings are released. ABC’s preempted Cougar Town, Fox preempted Human Target to air all-repeats around the memorial broadcast, CBS ran repeats going into the memorial, which was followed by new Live to Dance and Defenders, whose start was time-shifted. Live to Dance looks on track to post a 1.4 demo rating, which would be down 22% from last week. NBC sandwiched the memorial telecast between Minute to Win It reruns. ABC won the night in 18-49 and total viewers.