This is the much-needed good ratings news ABC had been desperately waiting for after the string of disastrous premieres for The Assets, Killer Women, Mind Games and most recently Mixology. It came courtesy of Shonda Rhimes, who’s become the network’s single most important producer. Both Rhimes dramas, Grey’s Anatomy (3.0) and Scandal (3.3), returned up from their two-and-a-half-month-long hiatuses, bringing a sigh of relief to ABC brass who took on a risky experiment by doing cable-style split seasons with a long break for all of their top serialized dramas this season. Grey’s Anatomy was up 11% from its last original on December 12, Scandal was up a tenth. That’s with virtually no lead-in as ABC aired a low-rated Oscar special at 8 PM (1.0).
Fox’s American Idol (2.3 in 18-49) was down a tenth from last week to hit an all-time demo low for a second consecutive Thursday. It ticked up in total viewers, from 9.2 million to 9.8 million. Rake (0.8) tumbled 20% from last week to a new series low en route to cancellation.