TV Ratings: 'Murphy Brown' Falls Well Short of 'Roseanne,' 'Will & Grace' Debuts

The return of Murphy Brown after 20 years put up decent ratings, but nothing more than that, in preliminary numbers from Nielsen.

The CBS comedy, which featured a Hillary Clinton cameo in the premiere, drew a 1.1 rating in adults 18-49 and 7.42 million viewers, holding most of its Mom lead-in (1.3, 7.99 million). An adjustment to the early numbers is a possibility, as Murphy Brown ran five minutes long. 

Murphy Brown improved by 11 percent on Life in Pieces' debut in the same spot a year ago in total viewers, but it was off a little in the 18-49 demo (vs. 1.2). It also fell well short of the premieres for two sitcom revivals last season. Roseanne opened with a huge 5.2 among adults 18-49 and 18.44 million viewers in the final same-day ratings. Will & Grace debuted to a 3.0 in the demo and 10.19 million viewers.  

The rest of CBS' lineup also fell, with The Big Bang Theory (2.1) and Young Sheldon (1.6) both dipped from their premieres Monday (2.5 and 1.7), and Sheldon recorded a series low. Mom was off a tick from last season's premiere 1.4, and SWAT premiered with a series-low 0.7.

Thursday Night Football's Fox debut delivered a 10.7 household rating in metered markets, up 8 percent from a year ago. 

On ABC, the two-hour premiere of Grey's Anatomy averaged 1.8, off half a point (23 percent) vs a year ago. How to Get Away with Murder (0.8) slipped 0.2, or 20 percent, year to year. 

The Good Place drew a 0.9 for its hour-long premiere on NBC, down from 1.4 for its 2017 premiere and down two tenths of a point from its 1.1 average for 2017-18. The two-hour debut of Law & Order: SVU (1.1) is down 21 percent year to year (its 2017-18 same-day average was 1.2).

Fox led the network race with a 3.3 rating among adults 18-49, pending updates for its life NFL broadcast. ABC's 1.5 was good for second, beating CBS, 1.3, and NBC, 1.0. The CW averaged 0.2 with a pair of reruns.