TV Ratings: ‘Pitch’ Debuts Soft Against ‘Thursday Night Football’

Daniel Holloway

Broadcast’s new Thursday-night scripted series were no match for the NFL.

Pitch” on Fox premiered to a soft 1.1 rating among adults 18-49 and 4.3 million total viewers at 9 p.m., according to Nielsen live-plus-same day numbers. “Notorious,” occupying the same timeslot at ABC, fared slightly better, drawing a 1.2 rating and 5.4 million total viewers. But whereas the former was saddled with an awful lead-in, the ladder could not manage a successful hand-off from the night’s top scripted show.

NBC’s new comedy “The Good Place,” from executive producer Mike Schur, the third new series to debut Thursday night, drew a 1.3 in the demo and 5.2 million total viewers.

CBS’ first “Thursday Night Football” telecast of the season drew a 12.5 overnight household rating. Final, time zone-adjusted numbers will be available later today.

“Pitch,” an ambitious baseball drama, was the most high profile of the Thursday-night freshmen. Fox had moved the series from midseason to its current timeslot after ABC bumped “Scandal” to midseason to accommodate star Kerry Washington’s pregnancy. “Notorious” moved into the “Scandal” fall timeslot, but neither show appears to have drawn a robust sample in its first outing. “Pitch” received no help from its lead-in, sophomore “Rosewood,” which premiered to a 0.7 ratings and 3.6 million viewers. “Rosewood” was down 50% in the demo and in total viewers from the fall premiere of “Bones” last season at 8 p.m. on Thursday. “Pitch” was up 10% in the demo and 23% in viewers from a weak “Sleepy Hollow” season premiere last fall.

On ABC, “Grey’s Anatomy” returned to a 2.4 demo rating and 8.6 million viewers — down 14% in the demo and 10% in viewers from last fall’s premiere. But “Grey’s” was far and away the night’s top entertainment show, providing a strong lead-in that “Notorious” fumbled, shedding 50% of the “Grey’s” audience in the demo and 37% overall. The exit of viewers at 9 p.m. likely impacted the return of “How to Get Away With Murder” at 10 p.m., which drew a 1.4 and 5.2 million viewers, down 46% in the demo and 37% overall from last fall’s premiere, and also slightly below the show’s season-two finale.

ABC averaged a 1.7 rating and 6 share in the demo, followed by NBC at 1.3 / 5 and Fox at 0.9 / 3.

NBC led off the night with “Superstore,” the subject of a big marketing push from the network that included a preview episode tied to the Olympics. The America Ferrera comedy drew a 1.4 demo rating and 5.5 million viewers — down 30% in the demo and 10% in viewers from what “Heroes Reborn” did from 8 to 10 p.m. on its debut on the same night last fall. “The Good Place,” which retained nearly all of its lead-in, was down 35% in the demo and 18% in viewers from the “Heroes Reborn” average. The season premiere of “Chicago Med” followed with a 1.4 and 7 million viewers. That’s down 36% in the demo and and 23% in total viewers from the Dick Wolf drama’s series premiere on a Tuesday night at midseason, although the show did build on its lead-in in both measures. The new season of “The Blacklist” debuted at 10 p.m. to a 1.3 rating and 6.4 million viewers, down 28% in the demo and 18% in viewers from its premiere last fall

The CW averaged a 0.3 / 1 with reruns.

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