TV Ratings: NFL Draft Rises on ABC, 'Big Bang Theory' Hits Low

Kyler Murray Oklahoma reacts after he was picked #1  - Getty-H 2019
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

The NFL Draft delivered solid ratings for ABC Thursday — in line with its typical early numbers and up a good amount vs. last year's broadcast component on Fox.

ABC's coverage of the first round averaged a 3.7 household rating in overnight metered markets, up about 28 percent from Fox's preliminary numbers a year ago. The draft also aired on ESPN and NFL Network.

In the final ratings, ABC drew 4.54 million viewers (up from 3.74 million on Fox last year) and a 1.1 rating among adults 18-49 (even with Fox's 2018 number). Last week's lineup of regular programming on the network averaged 4.61 million viewers and a 0.9 in the 18-49 demo.

ESPN averaged 4.86 million for its draft coverage, and NFL Network added 1.7 million more. The total for the first round of 11.1 million is down slightly from 11.34 million in 2018 (when coverage also aired on ESPN2).

A number of other shows took hits Thursday, owing possibly to a combination of the NFL Draft and the huge opening night for Avengers: Endgame in theaters. The Big Bang Theory hit a series low in adults 18-49 with a 1.7 for CBS, off 0.2 vs. last week (its 11.55 million viewers were still by far the most of the night). Young Sheldon (1.4) also slipped to a series low, and SWAT ticked down to 0.7. Mom (1.1) and Life in Pieces (0.8) held steady.

The series finale of Gotham slipped a little to 0.5 on Fox. So did NBC's Superstore (0.7, -0.2), AP Bio (0.4, -0.1) and Abby's (0.3, -0.1).

On the positive side, The Orville (0.7) improved slightly week to week for Fox. NBC's Brooklyn Nine-Nine (0.5) and Law & Order: SVU (0.7) matched their week-ago ratings, as did Supernatural (0.3) and In the Dark (0.2) on The CW.

ABC's 1.2 in adults 18-49 topped the broadcast rankings for the night, pending updates. CBS was right behind at 1.1. Fox averaged 0.7, NBC 0.5 and The CW 0.2.

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April 26, 2:15 p.m. Updated with final NFL Draft ratings.