The blast radius from the chaos of last night’s Thursday Night Football grows as the NFL on Friday fined the Pittsburgh Steelers and Cleveland Browns and suspended a trio of players for a fight on the field in closing seconds of the Browns’ 21-7 victory. On the other hand, the ratings were a total touchdown for the league and Fox.
Coming off the brawl, the Browns’ defensive end Myles Garrett’s season is now over, and it remains to be seem whether he will be reinstated at all — which is what happens when you rip the helmet off opposing team’s QB and hit him repeatedly, on live TV.
Cleveland’s Larry Ogunjobi shoved another player during the altercation and was suspended for one game, while the Steelers’ Maurkice Pouncey laid into Garrett and is out three games. Both will have to pay fines, and both teams will have to pay fines for a pittance of $250,000.
Friday Ratings: No Surprise, As 'Shark Tank' Again The Victor, But 'MacGyver' Draws A Crowd
Steelers, Browns organizations each fined $250,000.
Browns’ Garrett, Ogunjobi & Steelers’ Pouncey suspended. pic.twitter.com/HJ4Qnc4xsY
— Michael Signora (@NFLfootballinfo) November 15, 2019
Of course, with that fight blowing up on social media in real time, the Browns’ victory was a big hit with viewers. Snagging a 3.4 rating among adults 18-49 and an audience of just over 12 million, last night’s TNF wasn’t quite a season high, but it was close in more ways than one.
Surging 30% in the key demo over last week’s 26-24 West coast showdown between the Oakland Raiders and the winning Los Angeles Chargers, last night’s game was up 28% in viewers in the fast affiliates. That Raiders-Chargers game November 7 game ended up with a 3.9 rating and 13.5 million viewers in the final numbers – a result last night’s primetime-topping TNF is sure to beat.
Fast affiliates to fast affiliates, last night’s TNF is even with the comparable game of last year, when the Seattle Seahawks took down the Green Bay Packers 27-24. However, that November 15, 2018 matchup was down about 3% in total sets of eyeballs from last night’s game before being adjusted up to a 5.0 in the demo and 17 million viewers – which is what we could see today.
We’ll update with more TNF ratings as the come in.
In the meantime, there was other things on TV last night besides UFC … sorry I mean, the NFL.
For instance, Grey’s Anatomy (1.3 18-49 rating, 6.30 million viewers) retained its spot as Thursday’s top non-sports program, keeping its two-tenths gain from a week ago. It teamed with steady A Million Little Things (0.8, 4.61M) and How to Get Away With Murder (0.5, 2.33M), up a tenth, to give ABC the No. 2 spot for the night in the demo.
CBS was No. 2 in viewers led by Young Sheldon (1.2, 8.98M), which grew a tenth and kicked off a lineup that included comedies The Unicorn (0.7, 5.67M), Mom (0.9, 6.26M), both up a tenth, and Carol’s Second Act (0.6, 4.75M) dipping a tenth leading into a steady Evil (0.5, 3.28M) at 10 PM.
Law & Order: SVU (0.7, 3.76M) was NBC’s best performer, growing a tenth and leading the 10 PM hour. It capped a night that included steady numbers for Superstore (0.7, 2.74M) and The Good Place (0.6, 2.06M) but a tenth drop-off for Perfect Harmony (0.4, 1.86M).
On the CW, Supernatural (0.3, 1.32M) stayed even while Legacies (0.3, 880,000) ticked up.
Subscribe to Deadline Breaking News Alerts and keep your inbox happy.