8:19am PT by Michael O'Connell
TV Ratings: 'Heroes Reborn' Just OK, 'The Player' Less So, Against NFL and TGIT
Thursday belongs to CBS and the NFL — but the race for second place was much more interesting, heading into the marquee night for broadcast. Facing the returning block of Shonda Rhimes-produced mega-dramas on ABC, NBC debuted long-awaited event series Heroes Reborn and The Player.
More than five years after the original series signed off, Heroes returned to an almost unrecognizable TV landscape with a 1.9 rating among adults 18-49 and just over 6 million viewers. (It's in no way a fair comparison, but it is worth noting that Heroes signed off in 2010 to a 2.0 rating in the key demo and 4.4 million viewers.) That's a pretty modest start, but the two-hour episode did face strong competition in football and ABC's TGIT. Still, it consistently lost viewers over the night — which doesn't exactly bode well for next week.
The Player proved another 10 p.m. problem for NBC. The drama opened to just a 1.2 rating in the key demo and just under 5 million viewers.
ABC's drama block stood up much better to the NFL juggernaut. Though the trio all saw dips from last year's live-plus-same-day debuts, as nearly all returning shows have this season, the three dramas were exceptionally strong — especially when you consider this is the 12th season of Grey's Anatomy. The drama opened the night with a 2.8 rating among adults 18-49. Scandal, topping the night's non-football offerings, averaged a 3.2 rating in the key demo — while How to Get Away With Murder returned to a 2.6 rating. The drop is biggest for the latter, down 32 percent from its 2014 debut, likely thanks in part to the longer break between seasons.
Fox aired an encore of Scream Queens in the hopes of drumming up more excitement after Tuesday's disappointing debut. It took a 0.7 rating in the key demo.
A full breakdown of CBS' winning NFL game, between the New York Giants and Washington, will be available later on Friday.