Ratings: As HTGAWM Falls to New Low, Grey's Easily Leads #TGIT

On a sad Thursday where exactly zero of the 13 broadcast programs saw gains, ABC’s How to Get Away With Murder took one of the biggest tumbles.

Drawing 4.9 million total viewers and a 1.5 demo rating (per finals), the sophomore drama fell 16 and 17 percent from last week’s series lows. Similarly, Scandal (6.1 mil/1.8) slipped 13 and 14 percent to its own new series lows.

The news was a bit better for Grey’s Anatomy (7.8 mil/2.2), which was down just 6 and 8 percent.

Did you hear that ABC has a new president?

Elsewhere in the ratings….

THE CW | Legends of Tomorrow (2.3 mil/0.8) dipped a tenth, while The 100 (1.4 mil/0.5) was steady.

FOX | American Idol (8.2 mil/2.0) dipped 10 percent and a tenth.

NBC | Apocalypse (2.6 mil/0.6) was down 13 and 25 percent, Blacklist (6 mil/1.3) dipped a tenth and Shades of Blue (5.3 mil/1.1) was rock steady.

CBS | Big Bang (15.2 mil/3.8), Life in Pieces (9.3 mil/2.1) and Mom (8.7 mil/1.8) were steady, while Elementary (6 mil/1.0) dipped a tenth. Returning to Thursday, 2 Broke Girls (6.4 mil/1.5) was up a few eyeballs and a tenth in the demo vs. the hastily ejected Angel From Hell’s final outing.

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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63 Comments
  1. Lisa Echerd says:

    We didn’t watch HTGAWM last night either and that is the first time since it premiered that I’ve missed an episode I could have watched live. I don’t think I really got a lot out of last week’s episode. It has become so convoluted. Everyone is guilty of at least one felony. After 2 hours straight of TV, I just care enough to keep the story straight.

    We did watch Scandal but I was really hoping they would go back to the case of the week at some point.

  2. I think Scandal deserves the low ratings since Shonda & co insist on running games with the stories and propping favorites to the detriment of the overall show.

    Shame about HTGAWM, though. I’m enjoying it. And I’m really enjoying Grey’s Anatomy.

    • ? says:

      I wonder if the self-destruction of Scandal is tanking HTGAWM. Maybe if they switched timeslots it would be doing a lot better.

    • Sally McLinn says:

      Thursdays have NBC dramas and they’re much better written than the ABC dramas.

    • Cheyenne says:

      If A with it.BC wa itnts to save HTGAWM they will switch time slots with Scandal. Scandal is tanking and taking HTGAWM down with it.

      After that horrible mid-season finale, I will be quite content to watch Scandal sink of its own deadweight.

      • Cheyenne says:

        Ugh. This is what I get for trying to type on a smartphone. Anyway, the way I see it, Scandal is beyond redemption at this point. It’s more broken than Humpty-Dumpty. Even a strong lead-in from Grey’s can’t save it now. But it could benefit HTGAWM. It’s a much better written show than Scandal with a stronger lead, and doesn’t have all the negative baggage Scandal is carrying with it. The best thing ABC can do for HTGAWM is move it to 9 pm and push Scandal back to 10. (The 9 pm time slot might also save The Catch, which a lot of viewers are threatening to boycott because they are so incensed at what Shonda did to Scandal.)

        • Fernanda says:

          Agree, but also if the numbers are still low this could be the end of the TGIT of Shondaland and for the next season the three shows will be separated for each other

  3. Matt C. says:

    It’s crazy how when TGIT first started, the ratings increased every hour with each show, and now Grey’s is the highest of them all and the ratings just get lower as the night goes on. Especially when Grey’s is on season 12! Scandal definitely deserves the series lows, given how crappy it is nowadays, but HTGAWM is better than ever. Ratings be damned, ABC will probably keep it around as long as Viola Davis wants to do it.

  4. kmw says:

    Wow what a bad night especially for ABC. At least Grey’s didn’t dip as badly and NBC can be happy that Blue was about the only show to stay steady. Really bad for Scandal and HTGAWM.

    • Sally McLinn says:

      Blue has some ridiculous plot segments, but it’s quite engaging. It’s become one of those — what’s going to happen next? type of shows. And starting with the premise that JLO is a mole for the FBI just makes it more watchable.

      • Cheyenne says:

        Blue is excellent! And who’da thunk it — JLo can act! She is great on this show. And Ray Liotta is terrific. The character he plays is so horrible, though, that I’m almost wishing he gets killed off before the season is over.

  5. Sammy says:

    I dpng understand the ratings for HTGAWM because its not that bad. In terms of the story- its living up to its title- our characters r trying to get away with murder….

    • A fan of TV says:

      I honestly think it has something to do with all characters being so hard to root for. Writing characters with shades of grey is great for depth and plot, but is more welcome on cable than network, IMO. Cable viewers expect edgier programming and characters, network viewers tend to prefer their heroes. The entire main cast is tough to root for, not just one or two characters, and for my two cents, I honestly think that is hurting HTGAWM as the plot continues to thicken.

      • Marci says:

        I started watching HTGAWM solely because of Viola Davis, having been a huge fan of hers for many years. I hate that her character is so hard to empathize with, along with the rest of the characters, and the plot just gets crazier with each episode. I’d have probably stopped watching if not for Viola.

  6. Brian says:

    Shonda’s carelessness with Scandal is just mind boggling. You would think she was trying to kill the show or something. So many bad decisions when it comes to that show. And who thought it was a good idea to announce Joe Morton was now a regular hours before the new show came on? That news was very deflating.

    • Cheyenne says:

      I don’t think it’s carelessness; it’s more like arrogance. She seems to think she’s untouchable. It’s like she is daring viewers to bail on the show. And apparently, the viewers are taking her up on it.

  7. Ah, all the network’s ratings are so sad. I watched all three shows of TGIT. Scandal was kind of just on in the background because it honestly is awful now, to me. I love GA and HTAWM though and it’s sad to see the latter’s ratings so low.

  8. Tracy says:

    It looks as though the fans of Scandal is taking Shonda Rhimes’s advice if you don’t like it don’t watch.

    • bigdede says:

      That’s why people need to be careful when they run their mouth and say things like that. Shonda over estimated her power. Fans don’t have to stick around and be loyal to a woman who obviously don’t give a care about them

    • Cheyenne says:

      I couldn’t care less if Scandal goes down in flames, but I’m just afraid it might take HTGAWM down with it.

  9. Angel says:

    At least The 100 was steady, still not what we want, but at least the stupid boycott some fans wanted to do didnt work out…plus yesterday’s episode was amazing

    • A fan of TV says:

      If 1.4 is their new steady, they’ve added viewers from s2 so that’s good. But they need to reel the plot back in a bit and stop recharacterizing people just to tell a story. Finn was a jarring turn but overall well-handled in the long run, but they can’t just keep doing it over and over…

    • Luli says:

      Why would they want to boycott they show?! Don’t tell me it’s that stupid ship war that has been going on? People need to chill. Both pairings are cool, the three characters are in my opinion, the strongest in the show. They should just respect the process. yesterday we had scenes with both pairings, granted, it killed me when he handcuffed her!! I was not expecting that, but overall all their scenes were great!!

      Im excited for the whole journey. And glad Indra is alive.

  10. Boiler says:

    Not that they are anything to crow about, and not along with almighty demo, but nice to see CBS viewership higher than ABC throughout the evening. I am pretty surprised how much viewership dropping across the board. Can maybe understand last hour due to work schedules. Is DVR making up for it. I know Elementary routinely gets 80 to 90% bump.

  11. Heidi says:

    Just my opinion…. As an original fan of ‘ALL’, most but not all have lost me as a viewer… “How To Get Away With Murder” interesting in it’s first season has just lost something for me & no longer tune & do watch “Shades of Blue” instead … Once they put “Scandal’ in the same time slot as “The Blacklist” last season, I LOVE Blacklist & it’s my ‘go to’, however, oftentimes I will watch Scandal at a later date on demand. Used to love Olivia Pope, her company that would ‘fix it’, Papa Pope, Fizt/Oliva’s no, no relationship & most of all Kerry Washington’s unbelievable wardrobe. ..Show appears to have jumped the tracks, moving in another direction & not that interested..”Blacklist” is IT! Still enjoy Greys & the few original cast members left……JMO :)

  12. Tracy says:

    I think the Titanic hit the iceberg for a couple of shows in the TGIT stable.

  13. Julia says:

    TGIT needs to figure it out or else Queen Shonda will lose her clout at ABC! She can’t say she has the highest rated and most popular shows with them starting to bottom out like this.

  14. Alex says:

    Well, HTGAWM deserves its rating. It seems that writers don’t know what to do with their plots anymore. Last week’s episode was just bad, this week’s was better, but no wonder people don’t want to come back, it’s tiering to watch all the same over and over again.

  15. Jared says:

    Scandal has turned into a hot mess of a series and HTGAWM is full of Unlikeable characters nobody can get behind. Not surprised people are rejecting both shows.

  16. LT says:

    People, that line up on The CW is awesome! I am loving Legends of Tomorrow and The 100 is solid!

  17. Scandal has gone way way down in quality since the black live matter episode last year. Amazing that one of my favorite shows can go to me skipping an entire season. Grey’s has been getting better, but HTGAWM is too all over the place.

  18. LWoody75 says:

    Its funny that people can leave long comments on shows that don’t like… You must care enough if you have the time to comment. The shows are fine maybe we are the problem with our need for instance gratification. Streaming is ruining the tv experience.

  19. Sally McLinn says:

    Not surprising. Scandal and How to are two poorly written TV shows with overly dramatic and convoluted characters. Especially Scandal. People are abandoning that show like rats from a ship.

  20. I have given up on HTGAWM – lost me a while back. Scandal is getting pretty dull too, but I’ll hang on another week or so. Grey’s – I’ll watch ’til they go off the air or I check out, which ever comes first!

  21. jakis says:

    That’s because Scandal and HTGAWM are terrible right now. I gave both of them far more chances than they deserved, but the storytelling is muddy, the characters are all monsters, and it doesn’t matter how good the acting is when those two factors are undermining them. I just don’t want to see those people or those shows anymore.

  22. Mac Cillo says:

    Like a good murder mystery, but How to Get Away With is so difficult to follow with too many flashbacks. I want to enjoy watching…not work at it.

  23. jill says:

    I watched all three and found they all held my attention. Like that Olivia is not with the president and want to see how that will play out. In the flash backs, I want to know what happen to the baby or am I missing something. I won’t stop watching not now.

  24. Cena Gomez says:

    You do not alienate your biggest fan base Olivia and Fitz with promos of Olivia having sex with Jake in an elevator. This coming off Olivia’s abortion in the disaster 509 Winter finale. The ratings do not lie. Scandal returned season 5 with the heavily promoted Olitz At Last promos and pulled in 10.5 million viewers and with L+7 ratings of over 15 million for episode 501. Shonda and even some of the cast believe the show survive without Olitz relationship. So she breaks them up again and not only that, allow Olivia to abort their baby. Olivia is still the worst written lead female character in primetime. Scandal could have been a great show, but Rhimes has ruined it beyond repair because of her obsession with Jake, Mellie, Rowan, and B613. Say what you will about Olivia and Fitz fans, they create all the buzz and excitement for the show. Scott Foley is not the star. Bellamy is not the star. Fans want to see Kerry Washington and Tony Goldwyn out front and center promoting Scandal with Olitz. Scandal lost that core Olitz fanbase with the abortion and we told ABC the ratings would suffer. Right now, I don’t think putting Olitz back together will save Scandal. Fans were done after the Winter Finale.

    • Brian says:

      Right, the kissing Jake promo was just dumb and arrogant. Scandal’s not Grey’s. They don’t have the many different fanbases that Grey’s has, so they couldn’t get away with pissing off their biggest fanbase.

    • Caroline says:

      I believe 100 percent in all of the above. My once favorite series has completely tanked and is now unwatchable. Thanks for nothing, Shonda. Like you said, if you don’t like it, don’t watch it.

  25. Lee says:

    Grey’s anatomy is the only one whose lead is winning. Annalise’s life is tragic and Olivia works for Mellie and sleeps with Jake, who has always treated her poorly. After a while it’s all just a bit depressing.

  26. I stopped watching Gray’s Anatomy and Scandal – din’t like the way Shondra was taking these shows. Killing off main character just because she had a disagreement is childish and stupid. HTGAWM is just to dark for my taste.

  27. The problem you have with all these shows is for whatever reason the dumb ass executives of these broadcasting networks let these shows stay gone too long and we the viewer find other things to do so when they come back on with new episodes we the viewer have lost interest. They think that giving a T V show a winter break and then bringing it back on in February or March is going to keep us on edge but it does not as seen by the ratings. These shows need to go back to the way it used to be stay on from September to May then go on a summer break that is what most viewers are used to. Too bad because some of these shows are good but interrupting them in the middle of the season just to come back for a few weeks nobody is watching. Again dumb ass executives.

  28. The problem these TV shows are having is that these dumb ass executives think its smart to have a winter break then come back with new shows in February or March which is stupid. Most people have found other things to watch or do while these shows were gone. They need to go back to the way TV used to be run a show from September to May then go on a summer break that is what most viewers are used to. I myself find a lack of interest when a show goes on a winter break then comes back a few months later in midseason only to be on a few weeks. I find other things to do even though I might like the show. I think the TV executives really don’t know what their doing.

  29. EM says:

    Greys is great this season (probably because its # 3 or 4 on Shonda’s priority) and I watch live or as soon as possible. Scandal went off the rails with the B613 crap and has gone downhill ever sense. Watch on DVR when nothing else is on and cringe a lot. How To lends itself to binge watching for me. On the long hiatus of TGIT I got caught up and it’s really not holding my interest.

  30. Charlie Hall says:

    I Loved HTGAWM 11st year. But what the beck are the writters doing to the show? Half way threw,tonights show Feb.2549th I thot,this might be the last for me??? They are making the story lines to TWISTED…..please fit it….

  31. Jade Corbitt says:

    I personally think HTGAWM is still a great show. I think the biggest problem with ratings is the timing lineup. By 10p (EST) most people are in bed, especially if they have to work the next morning. If the time was switched even from Scandal’s time, it would make a big difference.