Shonda Rhimes’ latest ABC drama Scandal got off to a modest start in the ratings Thursday night, while CBS’ Person of Interest beat ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy for the first time and NBC’s Community hit an all-time low.
The ABC political soap Scandal launched with 7.4 million viewers and a 2.1 rating among adults 18-49, dropping 25 percent from its Grey’s Anatomy lead-in (8.1 million, 2.8) and was slightly under par for what Private Practice usually delivers in the 10 p.m. spot. The critical consensus on Scandal is that the show gets better as it goes on, so hopefully this number will build. Scandal is notable for being, by a couple reports’ estimation, the first major broadcast drama series to star a black woman in about 30 years. Opening ABC’s night, Missing (7.2 million, 1.4) was down 7 percent.
Overall, Thursday was a rough night for broadcast, with TV usage down about 6 percent from last week from 8 to 10 p.m. Fox won the night with American Idol (13.8 million, 3.8) down 10 percent and Touch (7.4 million, 2.3) falling 15 percent.
CBS had Big Bang Theory (13 million, 4.2), down 11 percent to a season low, but it still ranked as the night’s top-rated show. Rules of Engagement (8.8 million, 2.7) was steady. Person of Interest (13.5 million, 2.9) was off 12 percent (but, again, had some bragging rights) and The Mentalist (12.5 million, 2.4) fell 11 percent.
NBC aired Community (3.1 million, 1.3), down 24 percent to a series low (guess those feud headlines aren’t helping the show’s popularity?). 30 Rock (2.8 million, 1.2) was down 20 to also hit a series low, and Up All Night (2.6 million, 1.1) dipped too. At 10 p.m., few stayed up for Awake (2.5 million, 0.9), down 10 percent.