Broadcast primetime live + same-day ratings for Thursday, September 26, 2019

Note: FOX’s live NFL broadcast may result in greater adjustments than usual for the networks in the finals later today.

The numbers for Thursday:

Time Show Adults 18-49 rating/share Viewers (millions)
8 p.m. Thursday Night Football (FOX) (8-11 p.m.) 3.9/19 12.71
Grey’s Anatomy (ABC) – P 1.5/8 6.46
Young Sheldon (CBS) – P 1.0/6 8.06
Superstore (NBC) – P 0.8/4 2.88
The Outpost (The CW) 0.1/1 0.65
8:30 p.m. The Unicorn (CBS) – P 0.8/4 6.01
Perfect Harmony (NBC) – P 0.5/3 2.60
9 p.m. A Million Little Things (ABC) – P 1.1/5 5.00
Mom (CBS) – P 0.8/4 6.22
The Good Place (NBC) – P 0.7/3 2.43
The Outpost (The CW) – F 0.1/1 0.51
9:30 p.m. Carol’s Second Act (CBS) – P 0.7/4 5.97
Sunnyside (NBC) – P 0.4/2 1.79
10 p.m. Evil (CBS) – P 0.7/4 4.62
Law & Order: SVU (NBC) – P 0.7/4 3.72
How to Get Away with Murder (ABC) – P 0.6/3 2.53


ABC and FOX fared well in the first Thursday night of the new TV season, but the same could not be said for the other networks.

FOX’s broadcast of the “Thursday Night Football” game between the Eagles and the Packers topped the night, averaging a 3.9 rating among adults 18-49 with 12.71 million viewers. It, unsurprisingly, won the night in both measures by a wide margin.

Meanwhile, it was ABC’s “Grey’s Anatomy” that emerged as the night’s no. 1 scripted show. The long-running drama’s season 16 premiere raked in a 1.5 with 6.46 million viewers, down just a bit from its previous season’s overall averages (1.6, 6.78 million). “A Million Little Things” returned in even steadier fashion, scoring the same 1.1 rating that its series premiere scored a year ago, with 5 million viewers tuning in.

At 10 p.m., “How to Get Away with Murder” kicked off its final season with a 0.6 and 2.53 million viewers, predictably down from its fifth season’s 0.7 and 2.84 million viewer averages.

Elsewhere, NBC’s “Superstore” returned with a 0.8 and 2.88 million viewers, on par with its 2018-19 season averages. Additionally, “The Good Place” began its final season with a 0.7, and the “Law & Order: SVU” season premiere grabbed a 0.7 as well. Like every other returning series this year, both shows were down a bit from their previous season averages, but they did manage to match their season finales from this past spring.

However, despite the mostly solid lead-ins provided by “Superstore” and “The Good Place,” NBC’s new pair of freshman comedies, “Perfect Harmony” and “Sunnyside,” both premiered to disappointing ratings. At 8:30 p.m., “Perfect Harmony” posted only a 0.5 with 2.6 million viewers, while “Sunnyside” raked in an even lower 0.4 rating and 1.79 million viewer audience in the 9:30 p.m. time slot.

It was a similarly disappointing night for CBS, starting with “Young Sheldon” at 8 p.m., which hit new series lows in both the adults 18-49 demo (1.0) and in total viewers (8.06 million) with its season 3 premiere. Following “Young Sheldon,” “The Unicorn” got off to an OK start in the 8:30 p.m. time slot with a 0.8 and 6.01 million viewers.

The season 7 premiere of “Mom” maintained “The Unicorn’s” 0.8, and rose a bit in total viewers (6.22 million). The premieres of “Carol’s Second Act” and “Evil” scored lower with matching 0.7 ratings in the 9:30 p.m. and 10 p.m. time slots, respectively. On the CW, “The Outpost” wrapped up its second season with a final pair of 0.1s.

Network averages:

Adults 18-49 rating/share 3.9/19 1.0/5 0.8/4 0.6/3 0.1/1
Total Viewers (millions) 12.71 4.66 6.17 2.68 0.58


Late-night metered market ratings (adults 18-49, households):

11:35 p.m.

“The Late Show with Stephen Colbert”: 0.4/3, 2.6/7

“Jimmy Kimmel Live”: 0.3/2, 1.4/4

“The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon”: 0.3/2, 1.3/4

12:35 a.m.

“Late Night with Seth Meyers”: 0.2/2, 1.0/4

“Nightline”: 0.2/2, 1.0/4

“The Late Late Show with James Corden”: 0.2/2, 1.0/4


Rating: Estimated percentage of the universe of TV households (or other specified group) tuned to a program in the average minute. Ratings are expressed as a percent.
Fast Affiliate Ratings: These first national ratings are available at approximately 11 a.m. ET the day after telecast. The figures may include stations that did not air the entire network feed, as well as local news breaks or cutaways for local coverage or other programming. Fast Affiliate ratings are not as useful for live programs and are likely to differ significantly from the final results, because the data reflect normal broadcast feed patterns. 
Share (of Audience): 
The percent of households (or persons) using television who are tuned to a specific program, station or network in a specific area at a specific time. 
Time Shifted Viewing:
 Program ratings for national sources are produced in three streams of data – Live, Live +Same-Day and Live +7 Day. Time-shifted figures account for incremental viewing that takes place with DVRs. Live+SD includes viewing during the same broadcast day as the original telecast, with a cut-off of 3 a.m. local time when meters transmit daily viewing to Nielsen for processing. Live +7 ratings include  viewing that takes place during the 7 days following a telecast.

Source: The Nielsen Company.

Posted by:Alex Welch

Alex Welch has been writing for TV by the Numbers since January 2016. In his off time he enjoys rewatching old episodes of Game of Thrones and unironically singing along to ABBA. Every now and then, he even does them at the same time. He lives in Los Angeles.

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