ABC’s ‘The Family’ Off To So-So Ratings Start Against GOP Debate


ABC previewed new drama series The Family starring Joan Allen in Scandal’s Thursday 9 PM slot last night to a 1.5 rating among adults 18-49 and 5.74 million viewers in the fast nationals.

That is decent sampling against strong competition from the Republican debate on Fox News Channel, which started at the same time on the East Coast, 9 PM, with curiosity surrounding the rematch between front-runner Donald Trump and moderator Megyn Kelly.

the-family-abcThe Family was down from its lead-in, Grey’s Anatomy (2.2 up a tenth from last week with CBS’ The Big Bang Theory a repeat vs. original last Thursday; 7.7 million). However, Grey’s did not have to face the debate. The Family was down two-tenths in the demo from the Scandal original in the 9 PM hour last Thursday, when there was a GOP debate on CNN. While it did face the Fox News debate, The Family had lesser broadcast competition, with NBC’s Blindspot airing a repeat vs original last week.

So while its ratings were OK-ish in terms of sampling, The Family did not exhibit a breakout potential like ABC’s Quantico did last fall when, airing against football, the new drama opened with a 1.9 in 18-49 (Live+Same Day), rising from its soft Blood & Oil premiere lead-in (1.4). Speaking of the short-lived Blood & Oil, The Family‘s preview is in line with its debut (1.4 with a 1.8 lead-in from Once Upon a Time). We will see how The Family fares when it moves into its regular time slot, the Sunday 9 PM berth previously occupied by Blood & Oil, later this week.

Following The Family, How To Get Away With Murder (1.4) slipped a tenth from last week.

With Big Bang switching to a repeat after a big 200th episode last Thursday, lead-out Life In Pieces (1.8) fell three tenths. The impact lessened as the night progressed, with Mom (1.7) down a tenth and 2 Broke Girls (1.7) and Elementary (1.1) both even.

Elsewhere, Fox’s two-hour American Idol (1.9) was down two-tenths but still won the night for the network in 18-49 and total viewers (8.7 million). NBC’s Shades of Blue (1.0) held steady despite a repeat Blindspot lead-in vs. original last week, You, Me and the Apocalypse (0.5) ticked down a tenth, the CW’s Legends of Tomorrow (0.9) was flat, while The 100 (0.5) slipped a tenth.

Both HTGAWM and Shades of Blue have been posting triple-digit DVR gains.

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