TV Ratings: 'Scandal' Slips as March Madness Starts Strong for CBS

Preliminary ratings for the NCAA tournament's first night on broadcast are almost twice what they were in 2014.
Nicole Wilder

March Madness commenced on CBS — and on much stronger footing than it did last year. The NCAA Basketball Tournament fetched a preliminary 2.0 rating among adults 18-49, ahead of time zone adjustments, nearly doubling last year's comparable score.

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ABC still led the night. Though after a steady Grey's Anatomy (2.1 adults), Scandal, which featured a hyped guest appearance from Lena Dunham, dropped three-tenths of a point to a season low 2.4 rating in the key demo. American Crime (1.2 adults) fell yet again: two-tenths of a point.

Entering a one-night live format did not lift American Idol. The series matched last week's 1.8 rating among adults 18-49.

On NBC, Dateline (1.2 adults) jumped three-tenths of a point ahead of steady episodes of The Blacklist (1.8 adults) and The Slap (0.7 adults).

The Vampire Diaries (0.7 adults) and Reign (0.4 adults) were also steady on The CW.