UPDATED with final stats: The opening nigh off the NCAA men’s basketball tournament led CBS to a primetime victory Thursday. Basketball underwent a notable shuffle due to the live nature of broadcast, causing CBS to slide to a 1.5 demo rating and 4.98M viewers, though that still bested last year’s 4.47M and 1.2 demo rating.
ABC (1.3, 5.38M) was best of the rest for the primetime night overall. Network’s 8 PM Grey’s Anatomy (1.8, 7.25M) was the top entertainment show of the night in both metrics, followed by NBC’s Will & Grace (1.2, 4.66M) in the demo, but ABC’s Scandal (1.1, 4.86M) in total viewers with its second largest overall crowd this season.
Over on NBC, Superstore (1.0, 3.90M) was its most watched since January 25. AP Bio (0.9 3.03M) adjusted up another 1/10th in the demo in final stats to secure its best showing outside a post-Winter Games broadcast.
NBC’s Will & Grace rose 2/10th compared to last week, and Champions (o.7, 2.99M) clung to 100% of previous week’s debut in demo while growing 11% in total viewers (vs. 2.70M). That’s the biggest Week 1-2 gain in a consistent slot for any freshman Big 4 series this season.
And, basketball competition pushed Fox’s Gotham (0.6, 2.51M) to a series-low demo, but network’s Showtime at the Apollo (0.6, 2.58M) held on to previous week’s demo performance.
CBS topped night, ABC followed. After that, it was NBC (0.8, 3.67M), Fox (0.6, 2.54M), and CW (0.2, 570K).