ABC's Thursday Dramas Open Impressively with Across the Board Gains

Categories: Network TV Press Releases

Written By

September 28th, 2012

via press release:

“Last Resort” Opens to ABC’s Top Adult 18-49 Rating in the Slot in Over 8 Months

To Qualify as the Network’s Highest-Rated Thursday Drama Debut in 3 Years


Up Over its Year-Ago Premiere, ABC’s “Grey’s” is Thursday’s Definitive No. 1 Drama Among Adults 18-49, Generating the Series’ 2nd-Biggest Numbers Since March 2011


ABC’s Sophomore Season Premiere of “Scandal” Grows Across All Key Adult Demos

Over its Freshman Debut, Hitting Series Highs in Adults 18-34 and Women 18-34



Thursday Night (8:00-11:00 p.m.)

ABC earned second place on season premiere Thursday among Adults 18-49 (2.9/8), leading Fox by 4% (2.8/8) and NBC by 71% (1.7/5).  The Net won the night among Women 18-49 (3.7/10).


“Last Resort” (8:00-9:00 p.m.)

During the 8 o’clock hour against Fox’s “The X Factor” and CBS’ top-rated comedies (“The Big Bang Theory”/”Two and a Half Men”), the series debut of ABC’s “Last Resort” outdelivered its NBC competition (“SNL Primetime Election”/”Up All Night”) by 4.2 million viewers (9.1 million vs. 4.9 million) and by 22% in Adults 18-49 (2.2/7 vs. 1.8/5).  In addition, the new ABC drama attracted nearly as large an audience as “The X Factor” (9.2 million), pacing within 113k Total Viewers. Despite the competition, “Last Resort” built by 8% in viewers (8.7 million to 9.4 million) and by 15% in Adults 18-49 (2.0/6 to 2.3/7) from its first half-hour to its second half-hour.


  • Up over the year-ago debut of “Charlie’s Angels” in Adults 18-49 (+5%), “Last Resort” stood as ABC’s biggest Thursday drama debut in 3 years with young adults – since 9/24/09.   In addition, the new series scored ABC’s highest Adult 18-49 rating in the hour in more than 8 months – since 1/12/12.


“Grey’s Anatomy” (9:00-10:00 p.m.)

Building on its lead-in at 9:00 p.m. in Adults 18-49 (+95%), ABC’s 9th season premiere of “Grey’s Anatomy” led its competition by wide margins and finished as Thursday’s definitive No. 1 drama. During the 9 o’clock hour, ABC’s “Grey’s Anatomy” (4.3/12) outdelivered CBS’ “Person of Interest” by 48% (2.9/8), Fox’s “Glee” by 72% (2.5/7) and NBC’s comedies by 95% (“The Office”/”Parks and Recreation” = 2.2/6).  Additionally, “Grey’s” stood as Thursday’s top-rated series with Adults 18-34 (3.8/12).


  • Rising over its year-ago season opener in viewers (+11% - 11.5 million vs. 10.4 million) and young adults (+5% - 4.3/12 vs. 4.1/10), “Grey’s” tallied its 2nd-highest numbers since March 2011 – since 3/31/11.


“Scandal” (10:00-11:00 p.m.)

During the 10 o’clock hour, ABC’s sophomore season premiere of “Scandal” ranked No. 1 in its hour with Adults 18-34 (1.7/6-tie) and Women 18-34 (2.6/8).


  • ABC’s “Scandal” grew over its freshman season premiere (4/5/12) across all key Adults: AD18-34 (+31% - 1.7/6 vs. 1.3/5), AD18-49 (+10% - 2.2/6 vs. 2.0/6) and AD25-54 (+8% - 2.8/7 vs. 2.6/7).   In fact, the show marked series highs in both Adults 18-34 and Women 18-34, while hitting its 2nd-best-ever Adult 18-49 and Adult 25-54 numbers.

A note about increasing DVR penetration and year-to-year rating comparisons: Year-to-year rating comparisons based on the Live + Same Day data stream are distorted by the level of DVR penetration in the Nielsen sample, which has jumped up to 45% currently, from 42% at the same point in 2011. More viewers are watching shows on their own timetables, which may not be reflected in the overnight next-day numbers. The only truly valid year-to-year comparison would be one based on the Live + 7 Day metric, once those stats are released by Nielsen.


  • SG

    The Last Resort premiere was great, intense show!

  • OMG

    ABC press releases! Spin it! Someone is getting a pay raise.

  • J58

    I guess this is some good news for Scandal, though it`s still troubling that it dropped from 2.5 to 2.0 in the halves. *Sigh* Nielsen viewers are breaking my heart.

  • Babygate

    This is always amusing. Last Resort did only .1 better than the disaster that was Charlie’s Angels and they have been promoting the heck out of this show. I watched it and enjoyed it but let’s be real. The premise of the show is problematic and controversial and too heavy for that time slot. Scandal, well, they keep promoting it and Kerry Washington has been all over the place but it still not getting any new viewers. It’s too political. And Shonda does love her liberal politics. Some people don’t care to watch stuff like that. It’s the same thing that happened to Political Animals in the summer. I loved it but it did really poorly.

  • Martin

    Seriously, Scandal should move to Tuesdays at 10 in midseason when hopefully PP ends after final 13 so Greys’ can be used as lead-in for new show while it still has that power.

  • Brandy

    Scandal is a good show, but it’s heavily serialized. It’s not the type of show you can just watch randomly, and understand what is going on at all. You can’t just put a huge lead in front of it and expect people to tune in either.

  • Derrick

    “scandal is to political”

    I really dont see it, the premiere was more about politics than all of last season in its entirety.

    it mostly deals with Olivia’s clients and her affair with the president. other than the premiere episode itself, it barely talks about politics.

    as for Last Resort, heavy, yes, but it looks great so far. I didnt see as mnay promos as people think, but maybe that is because there is nothing else i watch on ABC besides Scandal and Revenge.

  • 47th

    Scandal is in such a weird position…its ratings are OK, but having those numbers in its second season already (and considering the first one didn’t even have 13 episodes) is a clear warning that it may be canceled before it’s sold in syndication.

    And the fact that it ABC ordered just 13 episodes for this year makes its situation even more delicate.

    My guess is that ABC is keeping it alive because it has nothing better to put it in its timeslot.

  • Bookworm

    47th, I don’t believe Scandal makes enough Episodes count per season to get into Syndication. That number is what, 100? Scandal will have 20 once this Season is over and they will need to get 80 more with an average of 13 episodes per season? I don’t see it happening, so I don’t believe Syndication is insight for them. I love the show to death but that’s just logic.

    AS a whole, I do love the show and Scandal is, by far, one of the most steady. It doesn’t really move from the demo and viewers from week to week. I wish it would grow more but I will take it at steady.

    The show is probably cheap to produce and I give it hope honestly. If Body of Proof was able to come back from the dead, I can imagine a stable Scandal will still have the chance. They might change the night or time slot next season but I honestly don’t see it (hoping at least) going anywhere for another season or two. Ideal, I hope it gets to 4 season before Shonda writes it out.

    No clue if it will happen but I will stay positive.

    Shonda stated that she wanted that episode order. A lot of fans were curious why it was so low for a full season and Shonda had done an interview saying she preferred it for this show and it gave a “cable” like feel the show. She didn’t want to spread the storyline or episodes out since the pace is so fast. I agree with her and I think the low episode order is a mutual agreement between ABC and Shonda, I don’t see it as bad.


    I agree. If you didn’t see Scandal from the start, you will be lost now. It’s not a “pick up and watch” show but rather a “start from the beginning and take notes” show. It would be well suited on Cable to be honest. They tame it now but it has the potential to get gritty enough for Cable.

  • Jared

    Scandal was great last night..but I’ve also been a viewer since the premiere. I agree that it’s definitely not a series for casual viewing. What makes the series so good is knowing the back story from the very beginning.

  • Quick

    Last Resort has been online for almost 2 weeks. Those numbers would be much higher than they are if all of the Hulu and Yahoo download numbers were added in. I thought it was great and refreshing to see something other than a cop/lawyer/medical drama.

  • Riff Rafferty

    Scandal is a good show, but it’s heavily serialized. It’s not the type of show you can just watch randomly, and understand what is going on at all.

    Yeah, worlds apart from “Grey’s Anatomy”.

  • Texas44

    I love scandal! Great writing and cast. I do hope this show continues for many seasons.

  • Dan S

    Let’s hope that Last Resort can build on its premiere in the weeks ahead. I think Scandal won’t see a full season & I’d love to see LR moved to Wed at 10pm & Nashville moved to Thur after GA at some point. LR is not an 8pm show & would probably do much better at a later hour.

  • Matt

    Theres no spin; This is all pretty true.

  • Cory

    I have watched a lot of action dramas come and eventually go, but last resort seems different. I thought it was one of the best premiers in a long, long time for this category. People better watch, or I will be upset if it does not make the full year…

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