Thursday Night Ratings: Modest Start for Scandal; MISSING, GREY'S ANATOMY, TOUCH, AWAKE Down

The Thursday night Nielsen ratings are starting to come in. SCANDAL premiered to "modest" ratings according to most but ABC's press release praises its retention of GREAY'S ANATOMY viewers. Below is a roundup of the April 5 ratings reports we have so far.

From CBS:
For the night, CBS was first in households (7.5/13), viewers (12.28m) and adults 25-54 (4.0/11) and a close second in adults 18-49 (2.9/09, -0.1 behind FOX). In the common two hours (from 8:00-10:00 PM), CBS topped FOX in adults 18-49 (3.2/10 vs. 3.0/09, +7%).

THE BIG BANG THEORY was Thursday's #1 program in adults 18-49, adults 18-34 and adults 25-54 PERSON OF INTEREST topped GREY'S ANATOMY in adults 18-49 for the first time and THE MENTALIST swept its time period, according to Nielsen preliminary live plus same day ratings for April. 5.

THE BIG BANG THEORY, featuring a guest appearance from famed physicist Stephen Hawking, was first in households (7.8/14), viewers (13.01m), adults 25-54 (5.5/16), adults 18-49 (4.2/14) and adults 18-34 (2.9/12). THE BIG BANG THEORY was the night's top program in key demographics.

RULES OF ENGAGEMENT was second in households (5.2/09), viewers (8.79m), adults 25-54 (3.6/10), adults 18-49 (2.7/08) and adults 18-34 (1.6/06).

PERSON OF INTEREST was first in households (8.2/13), viewers (13.47m), adults 25-54 (4.1/10) and adults 18-49 (2.9/08). PERSON OF INTEREST beat a first-run GREY'S ANATOMY for the first time ever in adults 18-49 (vs. 2.8/08, +4%) and by its largest margin ever in adults 25-54 (vs. 3.4/09, +21%).

THE MENTALIST was first in households (7.8/13), viewers (12.48m), adults 25-54 (3.4/09) and adults 18-49 (2.4/07), topping the premiere of “Scandal” in all key measures.

From Hitfix:
8 p.m. - ABC's MISSING averaged 7.16 million viewers, down from last week, and a steady 1.4 key demo rating. The CW's repeat of THE VAMPIRE DIARIES averaged 1.105 million viewers and a 0.4 key demo rating.

9 p.m. - ABC was second with 8.075 million viewers and a 2.8 key demo rating for a low-rated episode of GREY'S ANATOMY. FOX's TOUCH took a big drop to 7.45 million viewers and a 2.3 key demo rating in third. The CW's repeat of THE SECRET CIRCLE averaged 823,000 viewers and a 0.4 key demo rating.

10 p.m. - ABC's SCANDAL averaged 7.45 million viewers and a 2.1 key demo rating for its premiere, a slightly larger audience than the last new PRIVATE PRACTICE but slightly lower in the key demo, albeit with that weaker-than-average ANATOMY lead-in. NBC's AWAKE took another big fall overall, averaging 2.54 million viewers, and sliding slightly to a 0.9 key demo rating.

From ABC:
MISSING (8:00-9:00 p.m.)
From 8:00-9:00 p.m., up against Fox's AMERICAN IDOL and CBS' first-run comedies (THE BIG BANG THEORY/RULES OF ENGAGEMENT), ABC's MISSING (7.2 million and 1.4/5) more than doubled the audience (+140%) of NBC's original comedy block and led by 8% in Adults 18-49 (COMMUNITY/30 ROCK = 3.0 million and 1.3/4).

* Despite facing depressed holiday viewing levels in the hour, MISSING retained 100% of its week-ago audience with Adults 18-34, Women 18-34 and key Men (M18-34/M18-49)

GREY'S ANATOMY (9:00-10:00 p.m.)
Doubling its Adult 18-49 lead-in at 9:00 p.m., ABC's GREY'S ANATOMY finished in a virtual tie for the lead in the hour with CBS' PERSON OF INTEREST (2.8/8 vs. 2.9/8 - pacing within 1-tenth of a rating point and tied in audience share), while beating Fox's IDOL-driven TOUCH by 22% (2.3/7). In addition, GREY'S stood as Thursday's No. 1 TV show in Women 18-34.

SCANDAL (10:00-11:00 p.m.)
Showing impressive retention of its GREY'S lead-in during the 10 o'clock hour, ABC's debut of SCANDAL more than doubled its freshman drama competition, defeating NBC's AWAKE by 196% in Total Viewers (7.4 million vs. 2.5 million) and by 133% in Adults 18-49 (2.1/6 vs. 0.9/3). In addition, the new drama won the hour with Women 18-49, beating out CBS' time-period veteran THE MENTALIST by 11% (3.0/8 vs. 2.7/7). And among Women 18-34, SCANDAL outdelivered THE MENTALIST by an even wider margin of 36% (1.9/6 vs. 1.4/5).

* Building 12% over ABC's February Sweep average in the hour (7.4 million vs. 6.6 million), SCANDAL marked a 13-week high for ABC in the time period with Total Viewers - since 1/5/12.

* SCANDAL produced ABC's strongest Total Viewer retention (91%) in the hour coming out of an original GREY'S ANATOMY in over 3 years (since 2/12/09). In fact, it was ABC's best-ever viewer retention in the hour for a non-crossover episode with GREY'S.

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