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‘Riverdale’ Ratings Debut Soft, ‘Scandal’ Returns Down But ABC Tops Night

Deadline logo Deadline 1/27/2017 Dominic Patten
© Provided by Deadline

NBC was all encores Thursdays, but there was a lot of soapy action going on among the Big 4 and the CW in primetime with small-town murder and big-league political intrigue.

Despite the hype, the 9 PM series premiere of Riverdale (0.5/2) on the CW might have suffered from the competition, especially over on ABC with the Season 6 debut of Scandal (2.1/7) and a special Mary Tyler Moore tribute on CBS. With a soft debut, the re-imagining of Archie, Betty, Jughead, Veronica and the gang dipped a tenth from its lead-inSupernatural (0.6/2), which was even with its last original of last fall.

Comic apples to Archie, the series developed and written by Archie Comics chief creative officer Roberto Aguire-Sacasa was down 58% among adults 18-49 from the 8 PM debut of DC’s Legends Of Tomorrow on January 21 last year, which was also a Thursday.

Over on ABC, TGIT was back in full force with the return of Grey’s Anatomy (2.6/8) and How To Get Away With Murder (1.5/6) from their winter breaks, and a certain Olivia Pope back in action. The doctors of Seattle’s Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital had a good night with an 18% rise over its last original of November 17 last year, a two-tenths uptick over its Season 12 winter break return of last February 11 and emerging as Thursday’s top-rated show among adults 18-49. Back with a season high, HTGAWM bopped up 7% in the key demo from its last original November 17 but was down 17% from its Season 2 winter break return of last February 11 and 29% in the demo from its 9 PM Scandal lead-in last night.

The Disney-owned net was all about real-life President Donald Trump with anchor David Muir’s White House interview Wednesday, but last night saw even more Commander-in-Chiefing with Scandal’s latest season opener. Death and drama scarred the election result on the Shonda Rhimes-created DC-set series, but ratings took a toll too with the delayed opener down a hard 36% from the Season 5 debut of September 24, 2015. The first winter opening for Scandal was not actually a premiere low — the April 5, 2012 series debut pulled in a 2.0/6 among 18-49s — but it had to hurt.

Still, overall ABC won Thursday with a 2.0/7 rating and 7.53 million viewers. Fox and CBS were way behind among 18-49s with a 1.0/4 each.

On a night that started out repeats of The Big Bang Theory (1.6/6) and Mom (1.2/4), CBS also saw off the perpetually struggling Pure Genius (0.7/3). The undoubtedly not-returning high-tech hospital drama was down a tenth from last week to match a series low. Before that, the House of Moonves ran a Mary Tyler Moore: Love Is All Around (0.7/3) special to honor the real genius of a TV icon who left us earlier this week.

Fox’s Hell’s Kitchen (1.2/4) and My Kitchen Rules (0.8/3) were down a tenth and even with last week, respectively.

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