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Primetime Ratings: ‘Blacklist’ Debuts to Strong 1.8

The Blacklist came out well in its third season opener, with its 1.8 rating in viewers 18-49 a 13% improvement over the 1.6 it departed to last May. 

The James Spader drama, pitting his “Red” Reddington against the FBI, was up against Thursday Night Football on CBS and the season premiere of Sleepy Hollow on Fox. Sleepy Hollow came out to a 1.0 rating.

CBS ruled the night on the strength of football, scoring a 4.7 rating in 18-49, according to preliminary Nielsen numbers, with a 15 share. ABC was next at 2.5/8, NBC had a 1.4/5, and Fox tallied a 1.2/4. The CW posted a 0.3/1 with its repeats.

ABC’s dramas lost some luster after last week’s season premieres. Grey’s Anatomy scored a 2.3, down 18% from last week’s 2.8 premiere, leading into Scandal’s 2.8, down 13% from last week’s 3.2. How to Get Away With Murder showed a 2.3, off 12% from last week’s 2.6.

On NBC, Heroes Reborn weighed in at a 1.6, down 16% from last week’s 1.9. Blacklist had a 1.8, and The Player posted a 0.9, down 25% from last week’s disappointing 1.2.

Fox’s Bones showed a 1.3 rating, up 18% from its 1.1 season finale last spring, before Sleepy Hollow’s 1.0, down 29% from the 1.4 the Ichabod Crane crime drama rated in its finale last February.

Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.