ABC’s How to Get Away With Murder — the latest ride from Shondaland, and which TVLine readers gave a grade of “A-“ — premiered on Thursday night to 14.3 million total viewers and a 3.9 demo rating (per finals), up 36 percent and three tenths from Scandal‘s year-ago performance in the 10 pm time slot.
Murder thus stands as the fall TV season’s highest-rated series launch, thus far.
Opening ABC’s #TGIT line-up, Grey’s Anatomy (10.1 mil/3.1, average grade “B”) was up sharply from its May finale (8.9 mil/2.6) and hit a two-year high in total audience, but fell shy of its previous premiere (9.3 mil/3.4). That said, it obviously improved greatly on Wonderland‘s fall 2013 debut in ABC’s forever-problematic Thursday lead-off spot (5.8 mil/1.7).
Now airing at 9 pm, Scandal (average grade “B+”) returned to series highs of 12.2 mil/3.9 and improved on Grey’s‘ year-ago numbers in the time slot by 31 and 15 percent.
In total viewers and the demo, ABC enjoyed its best Thursday night in five years.
NBC | The Biggest Loser (4.5 mil/1.3) was flat. Parenthood‘s final season premiere (4.3 mil/1.4, average grade “A-“) was down 16 and 12 percent from its previous opener, but ticked up from its April finale and drew its best rating since last October.
FOX | Bones returned to dropped jaws and 6.3 mil/1.6, on par with its May finale but down 21 and 30 percent from its previous premiere (both of which aired on Monday).
CBS | Thursday Night Football (12.6 mil/4.3) surged 37 and 30 percent from last week’s blowout.