TV Ratings: 'Young Sheldon' Returns Strong, 'SWAT' Opens Well

CBS easily won the night, also thanks to returning comedies 'The Big Bang Theory,' 'Mom,' and 'Life in Pieces.'
Sonja Flemming/CBS

CBS scored a big win for its first post-NFL Thursday night of programming this season.

The network's time with Thursday Night Football may officially be at an end for the season, but the NFL did make a big cameo in the nation's No. 1 market. The network's primary New York affiliate carried the NFL Network's coverage of the Jets-Bills game, wreaking a bit of havoc on ratings for the night's big premieres — including the official debut of Young Sheldon and freshman drama SWAT. Scores are tentative and subject to significant adjustment. 

SWAT, a remake of the '70s cop drama and headlined by former network star Shemar Moore, opened strong out of the gate, drawing a 1.3 rating among adults 18-49.

That's a notable rise compared to CBS' two previous drama efforts in that time slot: Pure Genius, which premiered with a 1.0 rating, and more recently Training Day, which drew just a 0.9 rating.

CBS also got good news from the return of freshman Big Bang Theory prequel Young Sheldon. In its first Thursday outing following a solid airing of Big Bang (2.7 adults), Young Sheldon pulled an impressive 2.4 rating in the demo. 

The September sampling of Young Sheldon, which aired on a Monday, cast a formidable shadow on the fall's other premieres — none of which matched its out-of-the-gate success. With live-plus-seven day returns, the pilot episode earned an average 5.5 rating among adults 18-49 and has been watched by 22.5 million viewers. (Only parent series The Big Bang Theory and NBC juggernaut This Is Us have fared better this season.) It set a high bar. And without the New York market, Sheldon's official debut was bound to shrink significantly. 

Following Young Sheldon, returning CBS comedies Mom (1.8 adults) and Life in Pieces (1.5 adults) were up three-tenths and four-tenths from their respective season finales.

ABC followed with even outings of Grey's Anatomy (1.8 adults), Scandal (1.2 adults) and How to Get Away With Murder (0.9 adults).

With the exception of a steady Good Place (1.0 adults), NBC dipped with its fall finales. Superstore (1.0 adults) and Chicago Fire (1.0 adults) dipped two-tenths, while Will & Grace (1.5 adults) and Great News (0.7 adults) both fell three-tenths. 

The Orville fell two-tenths (1.0 adults) on Fox, while Gotham (0.9 adults) was flat.

Supernatural (0.6 adults) and Arrow (0.5 adults) were even for The CW.

Thursday Night Football returns to broadcast next week, with NBC sharing the NFL Network and Amazon's coverage of the Seahawks and the Cardinals on Nov. 9.

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