NBC got pretty good ratings from the premiere of “Shades of Blue” on Thursday. The well-promoted drama starring Jennifer Lopez opened to a 1.8 rating in adults 18-49 and 8.55 million viewers.
In the context of 2015-16 those are good, but not world-beating, numbers. It was the No. 3 broadcast show of the night, tying with CBS’ “Mom” behind two other CBS comedies, “The Big Bang Theory” (3.8) and “Life in Pieces” (2.2). And it was a good deal better than NBC’s fall offering in the 10 p.m. Thursday spot, “The Player,” which never got above a 1.2.
The network also offered up a long list of “best ratings since” bullet points in its ratings e-mail for the day, which inadvertently put a spotlight on just how much NBC has struggled on Thursdays — once its most dominant night — in recent years.
Among those bullet points:
- “Shades of Blue” was the first time NBC had beaten CBS and ABC originals with regular, in-season programming at 10 p.m. Thursday in almost six years. The winner then, way back on March 4, 2010? “The Marriage Ref,” whose 3.5 rating beat those of “The Mentalist” (3.2) and “Private Practice” (2.7).
- It had the best in-season, regular programming rating in the timeslot in almost four years — since “Awake” on March 1, 2012.
- Aside from the premiere of “Heroes Reborn” (2.0), it’s the top Thursday drama premiere on the network since “Awake.”
- In viewers, it had the biggest in-season, regular series audience in its timeslot since the premiere of “Southland” in April 2009.
It goes almost without saying that the ratings landscape has changed quite a bit even in the last three or four years. NBC’s list of superlatives for the “Shades of Blue” premiere make that abundantly clear.