Snapshot with finals: Week 2 of new series premiere: NBC’s Will & Grace (2.0 in 18-49, -33%, 7.1 million); Returning series premiere: ABC’s Scandal (1.4, 5.5 million viewers, a premiere low); Other returning series down from last week except for Gotham and Superstore.
UPDATE 1:30 PM. NBC’s groundbreaking Will & Grace was in its seventh season when hot ABC upstart Grey’s Anatomy burst into the scene in March 2o05. By the time Grey’s moved to Thursdays in fall 2006, Will & Grace was gone, but, 11 years later, the two contemporaries got to share a night. Last week, Will & Grace came out swinging, drawing a 3.0 adults 18-49 rating (Live+same day) for its anticipated return, while Grey’s two-hour Season 14 opener finished second among entertainment programs with a 2.3 in the demo. In Week 2, Will & Grace fell -33% to a 2.0, while Grey’s dipped -9% to a 2.1 (after an upward adjustment of +0.1), edging Will & Grace to rank as the top entertainment program on Thursday in 18-49. There were no other changes from the fast nationals this morning.
PREVIOUS 10 AM: Network viewers are a fickle bunch. They showed up for premiere week and then largely stayed away in Week 2, making for across-the-board week-to-week declines on the biggest shows this fall. It could be that many fans don’t bother to watch live (or Live+same day) anymore, with only special occasions, like a season/series premiere, compelling them to tune-in, and they let DVR and on-demand viewing take over after.
Like The Big Bang, This Is Us, Empire and Modern Family earlier in the week, NBC’s Will & Grace (2.0, 7 million) also posted a sizable Week 2 drop, -31% in the demo. (The declines make the 100% Week 2 hold for breakout new ABC drama The Good Doctor even more impressive.)
After towering over entertainment competition on the night last week, the Will & Grace revival tied ABC’s veteran Grey’s Anatomy (2.0, down a modest -13%, 7.9 million) for the top spot in 18-49.
ABC’s Scandal opened its seventh and final season on Thursday night with a 1.4 demo rating and 5.6 million total viewers. That was down from last season’s January debut (2.1, 7.6 million) and a premiere low for the Washington DC series but it was up from its May finale and on par with the Season 6 average. How to Get Away With Murder (0.9, 3.9 million), which logged a premiere low last Thursday, ticked down another tenth in both 18-49 and total viewers to new series lows (-0.2 in the demo from the fast nationals).
Even with the drop, Will & Grace at 9 PM was NBC’s top performer on the night by a wide margin. Its week-to-week declines carried over to lead-out, Great News (1.0, 3.8 million), which fell -23% in the demo from its Season 2 opener last week. At 10 PM, Chicago Fire (1.2, 6.1 million) slipped -20%. NBC’s 8 – 9 PM comedies fared much better holding onto their premiere numbers. Superstore (1.2, 4.5 million) was even with its fast national last week, and The Good Place (1.2, 4.2 million) dipped one tenth. (Both were adjusted up a tenth in the finals).
Fox’s Gotham (0.9, 2.8 million) actually ticked up a tenth in the demo from last week’s fast national. (it’s even with the final). After an impressive 100% week-to-week hold and improvement on its lead-in last Thursday, The Orville (0.9, 3.4 million) slipped to lows, -18% in the demo.
CBS’ Thursday Night Football was up in metered market households from last week and even in the fast nationals. It is projected to win the night. In the Live+same day ratings, UPDATE: TNF drew a 5.0 in 18-49 and 15.4 million viewers.