8:09am PT by Michael O'Connell
TV Ratings: 'Will & Grace' Dominates in NBC Return
Will & Grace returned to NBC on Thursday night, 11 years after its last original episode. Since comparing any ratings to those from its original iteration would be unkind and absurd, it can really be judged by today's standards. And by those, it was pretty great.
The first episode of what will be at least two more seasons of the landmark Peacock Network sitcom averaged a 3.0 rating among adults 18-49 and more than 10 million viewers. That puts it atop all other TV efforts for the night — save CBS' Thursday Night Football. It also ranked as one of the top entertainment programs of Premiere Week, trailing only The Big Bang Theory, Young Sheldon and This Is Us. For NBC, Will & Grace gave the network its best Thursday opener in nine years and its best comedy premiere in six years.
Thursday night marked a revival of sorts of NBC's "Must-See TV moniker," with comedy back on the block after seasons of limited half-hour efforts. Slapping Will & Grace in front of comedy Great News certainly didn't hurt the sophomore season-premiere effort from Tracey Wigfield. The comedy logged a series-high same-day score with an average 1.3 rating among adults 18-49.
Earlier in the night, Superstore returned to a 1.2 rating among adults 18-49, followed by a new The Good Place with a 1.3 rating. Chicago Fire scored a 1.5 rating.
Competition for the NBC comedies was stiff. CBS had its first 2017 outing of the NFL, and ABC had the season premiere of the always-formidable Grey's Anatomy. Shonda Rhimes' flagship series, which was but a young medical drama when Will & Grace last graced the airwaves, kicked off its 14th season with a two-hour episode, a 2.3 rating among adults 18-49 and 8 million viewers. ABC had another Rhimes effort, too, as How to Get Away With Murder averaged a 1.1 rating in the key demo.
On Fox, Gotham earned a same-day 0.8 rating among adults 18-49 and The Orville clocked in with a 1.1 rating.