Ratings: How to Get Away With Murder Has a Killer Debut, Scandal Returns to Series Highs, Grey's Strong at 8pm

How Get Away Murder Ratings

#TGIT, indeed.

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.

RELATED Parenthood Season 6 Premiere Recap: What Happened in Vegas?

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).

RELATED Bones Premiere Shocker: Find Out Why [Spoiler] Had to Die

CBS | Thursday Night Football (12.6 mil/4.3) surged 37 and 30 percent from last week’s blowout.

Want scoop on any of the above shows? Email insideline@tvline.com and your question may be answered via Matt’s Inside Line.

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  1. greysfan says:

    Unbelievable! Well done to everyone. ABC will be popping corks this morning. HTGAWM was amazing and Grey’s in its 11th season is still a powerhouse. Best move ABC has done. Scandal too. Just amazing. Well done to Shonda.

  2. KC says:

    LOL at Bones.

    • A says:

      returning with the same rating from its last airing is pretty solid to me…esp to a new night…but whateva tickles your fancy

    • BetiSA says:

      lol, but I expect these ratings for my show next Monday :/

    • Moment says:

      Bones is doing very well compared to other Fox shows, if it stays at this level it should be renewed for an 11th season. It’s worth noting if it stays as one of the top performing shows on the network, Fox will bring it back.

    • Ashbash says:

      Bones had the second best ratings for a network tv show at 8:00. How is that laughable? Bones in it’s 10th season managed over 6 million people against a national football and shondaland while poor NBC is wading in the 4million viewing waters. NBC’s ratings are laughable Bones’ ratings are pretty impressive considering their competition.

  3. roki says:

    wow abc is a monster on thursday, at least until tbbt back to its regular timeslot

  4. Eric7740 says:

    Heck Yes!!!! TGIT!!!! Love my ABC Thursday nights!!! Thank you Shonda for amazing television!!!

  5. A says:

    Bones returned on par with its Monday May finale…and the way that Fox network is bleeding I am pleased with that rating… I think it returned with a higher viewership though by nearly 200,000? 6.04 vs 6.2.. ??? maybe i am wrong…

  6. TL says:

    A) How is GREY’s still on the air?
    B) The SCANDAL season premiere was utterly boring.
    C) Thank God for Viola Davis…enough said.

    • Jose Torres says:

      A) Theres still a lot of people (me included) that like the show, thus they watch it, and that how it keeps getting renewed (TV 101)
      B) That is a matter of opinion…. It wasn’t the best but it was good IMO
      C) We finally agree on something

      • cdhaskell says:

        The Grey Anatomy keep getting each year. I love the way the writer developed the individual character . I can’t wait to learn how and why the victim from HTGAM was murder.

    • Hannah says:

      I don’t even watch it but I’m a bit tired of the ‘How is Grey’s still on the air?’ jokes. It is because it performs better than a lot of new shows. It’s performance is actually quite remarkable.

    • CKK says:

      A) People still love it. You would have to pay me to watch TBBT or NCIS, but people love and swear by those shows as well.

      • Ray says:

        I share your sentiments about the awful, boring dreck on CBS. The only way I’d watch is if I were paid. If it wasn’t for The Amazing Race, I wouldn’t watch a single show on that network.

      • RReg says:

        You can’t pay me enough to watch NCIS. I find that show utterly boring. TBBT is mildly amusing at times. Sheldon has got to stop being so shrill though.

  7. sarah says:

    They killed Bones putting it on Thursday nights. ABC is now the ruler of Thursday nights.

  8. Stacey says:

    We shall see how it does from here on. BBT also will be back. So that will hit Grey’s Anatomy some. And for BONES, given how bad FOX is doing. A show in it’s tenth year with massive shocker ending that they did not hype, it pretty good. Still one of the higher FOX shows, and hopefully it adjusts up in finals, and does better due to the shocker of the ending next week. It was on a new night. So given the massive competition. Hopefully it holds steady or improves… Gotta say Football isn’t as dominant as I think CBS was expecting. They moved their best show next to the NCIS series off Thursday, and now ABC is showing gains… I can see why they will bring BBT back to Thursdays and won’t keep it on Mondays.

  9. cdhaskell says:

    I wasn’t shock that Thursday night was a winner for ABC. I can’t wait to see how the individual character will change each episode.

  10. george says:

    So Last night, 14 MILLION ppl watched an ‘angry Black woman that’s not as beautiful as Halle Berry.’

  11. Boiler says:

    CBS is likely shooting itself in the foot letting ABC get off to great starts while football on. Hope the cost is worth it. I don’t like Bones on Thursday either especially once TBBT comes back to Thursday, if it does. FOX seems to be on track to kill itself!

    • cdhaskell says:

      I must agree with you that CBS/FOX outsmart themselves. CBS forgotten it is the right team that will made the football show a hit. I am glad that Bones is available on demand.

    • hipster says:

      How exactly? As great as the success story is over at ABC (and kudos to them). CBS still won the night… and will continue to do so until NFL is off Thursday nights. Even then, BBT will undoubtedly win its timeslot… the rest of CBS Thursday… meh. It’s riped for picking by ABC.

  12. Sarah says:

    Bones :( Hopefully it will adjust up.

  13. Lulu says:

    Bones episode last night was incredible. I cheered and cried, I truly love watching this show. Sad about the rating however Bones is getting better rating than most of the show on Fox, especially for a one hour drama.

    Thanks TVLine, I love to get my tv scoops on Bones from TVLines give more love to Bones than Fox.

  14. Bonnie Maynes says:

    I didn’t like How to get away with murder at all. Have you ever had a college professor that looked and acted like that? Those students were way too eager to be devious. That usually happens to lawyers after years of practice. I’m not going to watch.

    • BrittBrat says:

      You do know it’s fiction right! They can do whatever they want with the characters even if unrealistic.

      • herman1959 says:

        Ditto; and may I add what real-life law school would teach a course called How To Get Away With Murder?

        • george says:

          Is criminal law 101 and she prefers to call it, how to get away with murder.

          • lola says:

            Yeah, but Crim 101 has to cover tons of material – property crimes, sex crimes, bodily injury, different types of homicide, defenses, etc. It’s TV and whatever, but those classroom and court scenes were just plain silly. If anything, it would make much more sense for this to bea 2 L class.

    • RReg says:

      What do you mean a college professor that looked like that? Looked like what exactly?

    • i don’t know about looked like, but acted like her yes i did. he was a former FBI/homicide dect. and he literally throw us into court like that. except it was a crime scene that we were solving. A unsolved cold case, and our class opened up new leads for them…..so it is possible.
      I see this show is not going to be for everyone, it was entertaining though.
      i will love to see where it goes. so cheers up!

      • cdhaskell says:

        I am sorry Bonnie but this is a fiction drama when I slave all day long I wanted to look at something that will get hook. After the show is over I wanted to tell my friend how I am happy that I don’t have these people as friend who will do anything to get ahead. I wanted to know who murder the two victim and why. I know that it won’t be Viola Davis because she is the star of the show but again I could be wrong.

      • I think that learning how a defense attorney wins a case by performing oral sex on the detective involved in the case is, frankly, teaching them the wrong lessons.

  15. Hannah says:

    I’m happy for how well HTGAWM did, I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it.

  16. Eric says:

    Despite being very interested in checking out HTGAWM, the only show that I truly love that aired last night was Parenthood, and considering that it’s the final season, I have no need to fret about ratings today!

  17. Moment says:

    ABC must love Rhimes as much as CBS loves Lorre. Each respective network has a talent producing successful shows for them. Fox has err… NBC has Dick Wolf(In a way..).

  18. I do not believe that there is one case of someone dying following a single dose of Aspirin as a result of going into anaphylactic shock. Just can’t happen. I find it hard to believe that a defense attorney would delay the prompt delivery of evidence to his headquarters because she took the time to perform oral sex on him! First day of school, and she decides to pick five members of the class to come work for her based on one stupid supposition? I don’t think so.

    • Ray says:

      Wrong thread buddy. Episode discussion is on another page.

      • herman1959 says:

        O Boy…where to start? (1) He didn’t die, he had brain damage. (2) A. Shock can cause the airway to close resulting in Oxygen depravation and, therefore, brain damage. (3) The office sex had nothing to do with the evidence problem because the PO she had sex with never had the evidence; the point was that he failed to monitor the PO who did because he wasn’t at the police station. (4) You didn’t pay attention.

    • RReg says:

      The man who took the asprin didn’t die.

  19. Joe says:

    Of course ABC did well the hype the hell outta of it for well over a month, I’m surprised that greys is still going strong , ( I haven’t watched since the infamous ghost sex season) Scandal was ok , a little boring ( thank god they toned it down after the crazy season 3 ) and I haven’t watched murder yet ….

    • herman1959 says:

      Well, you need to watch Murder ASAP because it actually surpassed the hype. Hopefully, they can keep it up for 15 weeks.

  20. Steven says:

    So even though football won the demo, more people watched viola? . How does Nielsen measure all the peoplewatching nNFL in bars

  21. Larry C. says:

    Although I have never watched GREY’S ANATOMY or SCANDAL, I was curious about HTGAWM. Talk about being far-fetched! The front door just happened to be unlocked while the woman just happened to be having sex with a man who just happens to be a big wig in the police department who just happens to be able to help discredit some evidence against her client who seems to have a strange connection (possibly a Lesbian one) with the wife of the victim. Plus, how did this student know where the Viola Davis character lives, and what person, much less a lowly student who has already locked horns with the teacher, dare to enter the house. He told her the door was “open”. It wasn’t open; it was unlocked. He opened it. Viola Davis was good, but her character’s behavior in the classroom was beyond belief. Also, Shonda Rimes apparently likes to throw in everything but the proverbial kitchen sink. Have an inter-racial couple; have a gay man; have a seemingly battered female next door who is harsh on the outside as a defense mechanism but who will prove to be a softie on the inside (and of course she harbors a secret); have a variety of attractive young actors and make certain some minorities are represented; have Ms. Davis in stylish clothing and have her in an affair with a hunk. Include infertility, infidelity, homosexuality, straight oral sex, a modicum of nudity (after all, this isn’t cable), a young woman in an abusive relationship, dereliction of police responsibility and all that’s missing is a musical production number. Perhaps, they’ll do TROUBLE IN RIVER CITY.

    • Yanez says:

      It was the best premiere of a show that’s been seen in a long time and the fact that she can throw in a mix of characters who represent the full spectrum of America is what makes it even more awesome. I LOVE DIVERSITY!!!

    • Ann says:

      I might be wrong but I believe Annalise ( viola) was receiving oral sex not giving. The door being unlocked was addressed in the phone call she made. Her office and home are the same building I believe. They took the class there to interview the client. Told them all reference material in the office was open to them. She then to them to go find her a deference. This is one of those shows that you have to watch closely or you miss something. Not sure how closely you watched. Regular Scandal watchers no that it takes 2 viewings to catch everything. And we love when we find out we still missed some things. It’s part of the ride

  22. sarah j says:

    Ratings for Grey’s will be lower next week when TVD returns. For me I will watch TVD live and record Grey’s.

  23. very, very upset…no one said anything about Sweets getting killed in the 1st episode of this year’s Bones this was so very sad

  24. SiL says:

    Love Love Love this show.

  25. GUSTAVO ALCALA says:


  26. vicki says:

    I have to say I thought the premiere of “How to get away with Murder” was just ok, not great at all.

  27. thomascook says:

    Kill People in danish

    • cdhaskell says:

      I give the whole Thursday night A+. I was shock that ABC finally got a hit at the 8 pm period. I lost count how many series got cancel. I can’t wait to learn who is the killer on the HTGAWM. Was they murder by the same person and will Viola Davis’s character becoming their lawyer?