Against NFL football and two games in the now-underway baseball playoffs, broadcast entertainment programs posted a third consecutive night of week-to-week ratings drops virtually across the board. Thursday features some of the most time-shifted series on network TV, and the night offers an unusually heavy drama competition with four networks — ABC, NBC, Fox and the CW — featuring all-drama lineups against CBS’ football coverage. As could be expected, NBC’s male-driven series were hit harder by the additional baseball competition than ABC’s female-skewing shows.

ABC’s trio of Grey’s Anatomy (2.1 in adults 18-49), Scandal (2.6) and How To Get Away With Murder (2.1, Live+Same Day low) slipped from last week’s Live+SD deliveries by 9%, 7% and 9%, respectively, with Scandal again the top entertainment program of the night.

NBC’s Heroes Reborn (1.2) and The Blacklist (1.5) dropped 25% and 17%, respectively. New 10 PM drama The Player (0.9) actually matched its fast national from last Thursday, down a tenth (10%) from the final.

In Week 2, Fox’s Bones (1.3) was off last week’s season premiere by a tenth, while Sleepy Hollow (1.0) held steady, matching its season opener number which happens to be a series low.

ABC’s Thursday dramas are the night’s Top 3 absolute gainers in TV playback in adults 18-49, with each show picking up at least 1.5 rating points. Meanwhile, NBC’s Thursday dramas log solid percent gains from delayed viewing, ranging from 68% (Player) to 80% (Heroes Reborn) in Live+3 and multi-platform viewing combined, with Heroes Reborn’s episode last week adding nearly a million full-episode views (990,639) in seven days on NBC.com and Hulu — 20% of the show’s Live+SD viewership. Fox projects a 85% L+7 bump for Sleepy Hollow. 

vampire-diariesAfter a solid first two nights of fall rollout, the CW hit a snag last night. Veteran The Vampire Diaries opened its first season without star Nina Dobrev with a 0.6 in 18-49, down 33% from last fall’s season opener and off a tenth from the May finale. Spinoff The Originals (0.4) was down 43% from last year’s Monday season premiere as the vampire drama returned to the slot where it was previewed before moving to Mondays. The Originals matched last fall’s season debut in the hour of Reign, which had a stronger TVD lead-in.

CBS and NFL Network’s broadcast of Thursday Night Football featuring Indianapolis-Houston earned an average overnight household rating of 10.7 in the 56 metered markets, down from last week but an uptick, +3%, from the corresponding game last fall. Through four weeks, Thursday Night Football on CBS and NFL Network has seen combined ratings year-to-year increases for each game. The network is projected to win the night in 18-49 and total viewers.