Ratings: Blacklist Outdraws Scandal, Elementary Up, Allegiance Opens Low

Blacklist Thursday Ratings

NBC’s The Blacklist christened its new Thursday home with 10.1 million total viewers and a 2.4 demo rating (per finals), adding a few eyeballs but down a tenth in the demo versus its midseason finale.

That said, The Blacklist drew more viewers than time slot rival Scandal (9.6 mil/3.2), and thus was Thursday’s most watched drama — an honor NBC has not claimed since ER‘s April 2009 series finale.

Oh, I almost forgot: Blacklist improved on the Bad Judge/A to Z combo by some 400 percent.

At 10 pm, the spy drama Allegiance — which TVLine readers gave an average grade of “B” — premiered to 5 mil and a 1.1, down 11 and 35 percent from Parenthood‘s week-ago finale. #MattsARabblerouser #Parenthood2


CBS | Big Bang (17.1 mil/4.6) ticked up a tenth, while Mom (11.8 mil/2.8) and the antepenultimate Two and a Half Men (9.4 mil/2.3) were all steady. A 9:30 Big Bang rerun (8.2 mil/2.0) outperformed The McCarthys‘ most recent outing (7.1 mil/1.6). In turn, Elementary (7.8 mil/1.5) rose two tenths, easily besting Allegiance in both measures.

ABC | Grey’s Anatomy 8 mil/2.3) slipped 10 and 18 percent, while Scandal (9.6 mil/3.2) and How to Get Away… (8.3 mil/2.7) each were down 10 and 12 percent.

FOX | American Idol (9.7 mil/2.4) ticked up in viewers and added two tenths in the demo week-to-week; Backstrom (3.6 mil/1.0) dropped another 30 percent.

THE CW | Vampire Diaries (1.6 mil/0.7) matched last week’s series low; Reign (970K/0.4) was flat.

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. Roger says:

    Yay Blacklist!

  2. TVGord says:

    Wow, that’s a shocker about The Blacklist beating Scandal! A pleasant surprise for me. I enjoy both shows, but The Blacklist is the one that I have to see immediately. Whenever I think to myself, “Oh boy, BLANK is on tonight!”, the blank is The Blacklist!

    • brandydanforth81 says:

      Blacklist didn’t beat Scandal at least in demo,which is what matters.

      • TVGord says:

        It’s not all that matters. It’s all that matters to advertisers (and to those who slavishly cling to that number to the exclusion of the rest of the people watching). When we’re talking about two shows, neither of which is in danger of being cancelled, the demo is just another subset of the bigger picture.

        The bigger picture is that more people were watching The Blacklist last night than Scandal.

        • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

          Thank you, Gord. As I noted below, while the demo famously stirs the drink, it is not insignificant that THE BLACKLIST showed up and drew a larger (by any degree) audience than any #TGIT drama.

          ETA: Michael Schneider at TV Insider has a glorious demo-by-demo, gender-by-gender “tale of the tape” for Round 1 of the BLACKLIST/SCANDAL face-off: http://www.tvinsider.com/article/386/scandal-vs-the-blacklist-heres-how-the-first-night-of-tvs-thursday-face-off-fared/

        • Nero tTVf says:

          You are correct, and what’s really interesting here is that with one bold move (Blacklist to Thursday), NBC has made itself ‘relevant’ again on Thursday nights. NBC had been on a downward spiral for some time here on ‘Must See TV’ night for NBC. Now, one move, back in the game. Critically important. Bold moves. ABC made one as well by moving Grey’s to 8pm – that took guts, and it is paying off. CBS moving TBBT to Thursday at 8pm – another key move. Good gamesmanship by the networks, and the need for DVR skills by the viewers/customers.

          Now, watch what happens at CBS. Two and Half Men end in a week or so, and then, I assume Mom to 9pm and Odd Couple to 8:30. If CBS is not able to compete well at 9pm, look about for Elementary at 10pm. That is the show now at risk.

    • Nona says:

      Very average demo though. What the networks look at.

    • Grey says:

      What Brandydanforth81 said. The headline is spinning the “wrong” set of numbers.

  3. AL says:

    You might want to add Scandal completely crushed it in the demo
    3.1 to 2.3

    • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

      I have the utmost faith that my savvy readers can juxtapose the 2.3 and 3.1 denoted above and arrive at that conclusion. The headline/lede are clearly about total audience.

      • fred says:

        Matt, that headline sounds like written by the NBC PR department. TV Line should be a little more less biased than that. Sad.

      • Grey says:

        “I have the utmost faith that my savvy readers can juxtapose the 2.3 and 3.1 denoted above and arrive at that conclusion. ”

        Well apparently not going by TVGord’s elation. Just saying.

        • Grey says:

          And believe when I say, I wish is was about the population and not the damn demo. I hate that the demo is the important number. It’s like everyone outside that demo dosen’t exist and shouldn’t even bother to watch TV. They’re not worthy.

  4. Kubrick says:

    After all that stuff post super bowl I’m really concerned about Black List’s new spot. Allegiance looks like its DOA . Not bad for Mom other than TBBT it looks like one of the more solid rated CBS comedies especially with Men ending.

    • Tran says:

      Now that The McCarthys is being pulled from its CBS schedule even though it should hurt its chances for a proper cancellation, feels like the network is doing their best if The Odd Couple gets a big boost for a Big Bang lead-in and giving Mom a greater chance for renewal. Here’s my prediction for CBS’ Thursday night line-up come next season after football: 8 p.m. – Big Bang Theory or 2 Broke Girls. 8:30 p.m. – Mike & Molly or 2 Broke Girls or NEW COMEDY. 9 p.m. – Mom. 9:30 p.m. – NEW COMEDY. 10 p.m. – NEW or RETURNING DRAMA SERIES (if Elementary stay on Thursdays @ 10).

  5. Stacey says:

    Although Scandal has the bigger demo which is what I am told networks (except FOX) care about. But regardless FOX needs to bring back BONES and air it with AI until Idol goes once a week, and then double up or bring something else if they have anything. A 1.0 is horrible at week 3. When you have so many BONES episodes on the bench, I can’t see them keeping Backstrom to air out the episode order!

  6. Vanna says:

    I love the Blacklist, but wouldn’t watch it over Scandal. I think NBC is stupid for moving The Blacklist to Thursday…they had something good on Monday night (they need to go on ahead and cancel State of Affairs…the people are not here for Katherine Heigl), and none of the other new shows they are rolling out on Thursday look worthy of my attention. And based on the ratings (demo is what the advertisers pay attention to), people agree!

  7. Tran says:

    I think Blacklist will do a great job on Thursdays after an amazing run on Mondays in its post-Voice time slot. Looks like Scandal may have a lackluster season in my opinion but we’ll see if all the crazy story lines has in store for Olivia Pope and Co.

  8. Ray says:

    This title is very misleading. The Blacklist may have beat Scandal marginally in overall viewers, but it’s the coveted 18-49 demo which matters most and Scandal totally obliterated The Blacklist in that.

    • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

      “Outdraws” (vs. “outrates” or “beats”) clearly speaks to total audience. It is not insignificant that THE BLACKLIST showed up and drew a larger, by any degree, audience than any #TGIT drama. So, I’m good.

  9. Dana Ernest says:

    So happy about The Blacklist! I wasn’t sure how it would do in that Thursday time slot. Since I’m not a Scandal viewer, the choice was easy for me. Blacklist’s midseason premiere was everything a premiere should be, hopefully they keep that momentum going throughout the rest of the season.

  10. B says:

    yikes at those allegiance numbers

  11. Jenna says:

    Too bad about Allegience. I liked it!

  12. Iakovos says:

    It’s a shame BLACKLIST is led into by THE SLAP and leads out to ALLEGIANCE. Not sure about those two dramas. This was a gutsy move by NBC and one that could have backfired BIG time. Good start. CBS rules with viewers over that narrow demo so coveted. If Peacock can grab some traction with BLACKLIST on Thursdays, then maybe it can regain some eyeballs on the evening.

    • Tran says:

      If The Slap & Allegiance won’t do a great job on its Thursday night line-up for NBC, here’s my prediction for its schedule come next season: 8 p.m. – NEW COMEDY. 8:30 p.m. – NEW COMEDY or 8 p.m. – NEW DRAMA. 9 p.m. – The Blacklist. 10 p.m. – State of Affairs or NEW DRAMA.

    • herman1959 says:

      Why is it a shame? It totally makes sense that the network would sandwich the returning ratings giant in between the two newbies. The reasoning is that people will tuned to NBC in advance of The Blacklist and thereby catching The Slap. Then, hopefully, after The Blacklist they stay for Allegiance. Possibly the problem is that you’re just not used to network programmers making sense.

  13. Cas says:

    I love both shows so I don’t care. However it is rather sad that the Blacklist had so many viewers and only got a 2.3 in the demo but Scandal got a 3.1 with lower viewers. If only old people shopped more then they would matter too ;)

    • Gaara says:

      Yea because as soon as you turn 50 you stop buying cars, cellphones, beer, foods, clothing and movie tickets. Your life is over and you may aswell check in a retirement home.

      • Laura says:

        I think I read somewhere once (and I could be remembering it wrong) that, in the mind’s of advertisers, once you reach a certain age you are fairly fixed in your shopping habits for most things (i.e., less likely to be swayed by commercials) so the payoff is less.

        • Matt Webb Mitovich says:


        • herman1959 says:

          What the advertisers don’t realize is that 50-year olds are still buying for younger people (children, nephews, nieces, etc.), unlike years ago when their children were all grown. And, as you say, these young folks are swayed by commercials for things the older folks have to pay for. Thanks.

          • Laura says:

            That’s not the point, though. Even if the product is being purchased by an older person for someone younger that was persuaded by the ad (like pretty much anything for a child), the ad appealed to the younger person. If the older person wouldn’t have purchased the product/seen the movie/whatever without the influence of the younger person, then that goes back to my original point.

            It doesn’t matter where the money comes from, it just matters that the purchase was driven by the younger person.

        • Boiler says:

          Really the point is that it is a bunch of hogwash. Perhaps someone needs to look at this again.

      • Boiler says:

        Gaara yea I’m 60 and I have done that too.:):):) I love this demo battle! Maybe some day the demo will change finally

  14. fred says:

    If we go by your reasoning, why you haven’t written the headline almost every Monday that says “Dancing with the Stars” outdraws “The Voice”. Or on Friday: Blue Bloods crushes “Shark Tank”

  15. herman1959 says:

    It’s funny how some viewers are all into the demo until their show doesn’t win it in the ratings.

  16. Greg says:

    More surprising to me than the whole Scandal/Blacklist debate about total viewers is the complete collapse of NBC at 10PM. I’m not sure if How To Get Away With Murder is to blame or if NBC just needs to continue searching for something that will attract viewers. Obviously, The Blacklist is a fine enough lead-in, so the problem is either that folks willingly changed the channel or are just not interested in this new show.

    But in terms of the Scandal/Blacklist thing, both shows are guaranteed renewals and of course Scandal would defeat TB in the demo. Having TB acquire more viewers (at least this week, who knows what the future holds) is rather newsworthy, which is why I am sure Matt lead with that headline.

    For a good analogy, it would be like ABC moving Modern Family to Thursdays up against TBBT and seeing TBBT win the demo easily but MF earning a few more eyeballs. Sure, that scenario would NEVER happen but it would definitely warrant TVLINE to write a headline about it.

    Let’s see what goes down in coming weeks when TB has settled into Thursday. I doubt it will ever come close to Scandal’s demo but we shall see if it continuously draws more eyes.

  17. Boiler says:

    Gee what got all the Shonda lovers upset. He said what it was and I wish we would see this more often

  18. Becky says:

    I have never like any of SR’s soap operas. So I’m glad there’s finally something to watch on Thursday in addition to Elementary.

  19. LynnH says:

    Fox needs to support “Backstrom” and move it to a slot where it can thrive. Or at least not get crushed under the weight of other established shows. It has quickly become one of my favorites and I’m really hoping the network doesn’t give up on it. There should be room on the schedule for the weird shows, too.

  20. Mara says:

    I love both shows but these last couple of episodes of Scandal have been so bad that BlackList will be my “must see tv” and I think it will only increase it’s numbers (overall And in demo) if Scandal keeps being this bad. I loved Scandal in the past and appreciate Shonda Rhimes talent but this has been a disaster – maybe she is oread too thin.

  21. Dave says:

    Glad to see Blacklist did well last night despite a really uneven and awkwardly-paced episode.

  22. kmw says:

    We all know that advertisers love those demo numbers, but Matt is right it is not insignificant that Blacklist beat Scandal. Given how NBC has not had those kind of numbers from a show since 2009 in Thursday night it most definitely did much better than NBC hoped for and I am very surprised at the 10 million viewers for them. TGIT did not have as good a night as I thought they would. CBS keeps on rolling and nice for Elementary to go up. Allegiance is going to have a tough climb with those numbers. Idol did fine, but FOX should put BONES back on and move Backstrom, possibly to Friday. Whether Backstrom is good or bad it has no shot at that time slot

    • Sarah says:

      I agree that Fox should bring Bones early and move Backstrom because it doesn’t have a chance otherwise (IMO). But it probably won’t happen. Ugh. This hiatus from h*ll really sucks!

  23. MTB says:

    The Blacklist is a much better show. Scandal is getting painful to watch. I should say Olivia IS painful to watch. That show is awful right now.

    • Vi says:

      I am not fond of the current storyline on Scandal either. I love blacklist and watched that live. I did DVR Scandal but not rushing to watch. And I am tired of the demo … I am out of that age group now but I am always trying new products, and not swayed my younger family members. Too bad all the numbers and the demo is still back in the 70’s. So many households have DVRS now so it’s not the same anymore. But if a commercial is awful, it’s almost enough to want me to avoid that product. Lol

  24. Revelation says:

    The viewers just moved to Thursday. Scandal viewers are not going to stop watching. One gets Dvr and the other watched. I like Blacklist bUT the announcer hypes it bigger than it is.

    • Jean Alica says:

      I love the Blacklist and would watch it any way! It is popular with our next door neighbors and the younger members of our family alike so there you go. I suppose it is a case of what style of show you like. Glad it has been renewed for season three.

  25. Mark says:

    great news for Blacklist but that’s a wrap for Reign — Tomorrows People and Star crossed at better figures last year and both lost that battle — only thing that saved Hart of Dixie was Syndication…

  26. dan the critic says:

    Too bad about Backstrom. It’s a good show with a nice emsemble cast.