TV Ratings: NFL Draft Day 1 Scores Record 15.6 Million Viewers

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The NFL Draft kicked off in strong fashion in the TV ratings, as “Will & Grace” aired its finale ever episode (barring another revival, of course) to decent numbers.

Round 1 of the draft, which saw LSU quarterback Joe Burrow selected as the number one overall pick by the Cincinnati Bengals, was watched by a combined 15.6 million viewers across ABC, ESPN, NFL Network, ESPN Deportes, and their digital channels. That represents a record viewership total for round 1 and a 37% jump from over 2019. On ABC, the draft scored a 1.6 rating among adults 18-49 and 6.1 million viewers during primetime hours, another significant jump on last year’s first day, which scored a 1.1 rating and 4.5 million total viewers.

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Meanwhile NBC aired a quartet of finales, including the series curtain call for “Will & Grace.” The final episode delivered a 0.5 rating (which is technically down a fraction on the penultimate episode) and 3.1 million total viewers, the show’s largest Live+Same Day audience since March 2019. A “Will & Grace” farewell followed with the same 0.5 rating and 2.9 million pairs of eyeballs.

Earlier on, the season finale of “Superstore,” which saw America Ferrera make her exit, came in at a 0.7 rating and 3.1 million viewers, even on last week and up almost 1 million viewers from the season 4 finale. The season 7 finale of “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” followed that up with a 0.6 rating and 2.3 million viewers, a five-week audience high for the former Fox comedy. The season 21 finale of “Law & Order: SVU” rounded off the night with a 0.7 and 3.7 million viewers, down 10% on the penultimate episode.

CBS aired three new episodes on Thursday night, two of which ticked down week-to-week. “Man With a Plan” dipped to a 0.6 rating and 5.7 million viewers, while “Broke” also fell fractionally to a 0.6 and 4.8 million viewers. A “Tommy” episode came in even at a 0.5 and 4.6 million viewers. Replays of “Young Sheldon” and “Mom” scored a 0.6 and a 0.5 respectively.

“Last Man Standing” came in even on Fox at a 0.6 and 4.1 million viewers, followed a replay of the Tim Allen comedy at a 0.5. A “Mental Samurai” rerun scored a 0.3.

Over on the CW, “Katy Keene” and “In the Dark” both came in even at a 0.1 rating. The former drew 503,000 viewers, the latter just under 400,000.

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