Primetime Ratings: ‘How to Get Away With Murder’ Debuts as Season’s Top Rookie

ABC debuted its newest Shondaland series How to Get Away With Murder with the rookie drama posting a very strong 3.8 rating with adults 18-49 at 10 p.m., becoming the season’s top-rated freshman premiere, according to Nielsen overnight numbers.

Murder tied with fellow Shonda Rhimes drama Scandal, which shifted an hour earlier to 9 p.m., and topped that show’s premiere in the 10 p.m. slot last season by two tenths. Murder also drew 14 million total viewers, building 18% on Scandal’s 11.9 million. Scandal tied its series high in both the demo and total viewers.

At 8 p.m., the other Shonda Rhimes drama Grey’s Anatomy returned for its 11th season to a 3.0, down 12% from last year, but almost double what Once Upon a Time in Wonderland debuted to in that slot last year (1.7).

Despite the strong numbers, ABC finished in second to CBS’ coverage of Thursday Night Football with an overall 3.5 rating/11 share.

CBS led the night with its third TNF game of the season, scoring an overall 4.2/13. The New York Giants’ 45-14 victory over Washington earned an 11.2 overnight household rating (10.7 rating during primetime), on CBS and NFL Network, up 32% over last week. In the primetime window (8:30-11 p.m.), the game drew a 4.5 rating in the demo and 12.5 million total viewers. Those numbers will change once nationals are released later on Friday.

NBC was in third with a 1.3/4 as Parenthood returned for its final season to a 1.4, down two tenths from last year. The Biggest Loser was even with last week’s premiere with a 1.3.

Fox returned veteran Bones for its 10th season on a new night to a 1.6, down 30% from its premiere last year, which came against weaker competition. Airing a repeat of the Sleepy Hollow premiere, Fox took fourth with a 1.1/4.