Ratings Watch: Soft Return for Heroes Reborn on Premiere Week Thursday

Michael Schneider
Ratings Watch

Thursday, September 24 Final National Ratings (UPDATED)
Total Viewers (Live+Same Day) // Adults 18-49 ratings (Live+Same Day)

ABC
(8 p.m.) Grey’s Anatomy 9.6 million // 2.8 rating
(9 p.m.) Scandal 10.3 million // 3.3 rating
(10 p.m.) How to Get Away with Murder 8.4 million // 2.6 rating

CBS (includes NFL Network viewership)
(8 p.m.) NFL Thursday Night Kick Off 7.6 million // 2.2 rating
(8:20 p.m.) NFL Thursday Night Football 16.9 million // 6.0 rating

Fox
(8 p.m.) Scream Queens (rebroadcast) 2.0 million // 0.7 rating

NBC
(8 p.m.) Heroes Reborn NEW 6.1 million // 2.0 rating
(10 p.m.) The Player NEW 4.9 million // 1.2 rating

It was a quiet rebirth for Heroes Reborn.

The reboot of NBC’s Heroes, which originally ran for four seasons from 2006 to 2010, debuted to OK ratings on Thursday night. But Heroes Reborn will likely see a big burst of activity in delayed viewing; expect its Live+3 and Live+7 numbers to climb substantially, given its tough competition. (Sci-fi shows regularly see large lifts when DVR and VOD numbers are included.)

The two-hour premiere averaged 6.1 million viewers and a 2.0 rating among adults 18-49. That’s a climb in viewers and a steady demo from show’s February 2010 finale, which averaged just 4.4 million viewers and a 2.0 rating in the demo. (In comparison, when it launched in 2006, Heroes was a monster, attracting 14.3 million viewers and a 5.9 rating in the demo.)

According to NBC, the Heroes Reborn premiere was NBC's highest rating in the slot for non-sports programming since Peter Pan Live! last December 4 (2.6 rating). The premiere's 2.1 rating among men 18-49 is NBC's top drama debut in that demo without a The Voice lead-in since The Cape on Jan. 9, 2011 (2.8 rating).

NBC’s other new show on the night, The Player, averaged 4.9 million viewers and a 1.2 rating in the demo.

In comparison for NBC, last year a two-hour The Biggest Loser averaged a 1.3 among adults 18-49 and 4.5 million viewers; at 10/9c, Parenthood attracted 4.3 million viewers and a 1.4 rating in the demo.

NBC's new dramas faced formidable competition from football on CBS and the return ofABC’s Shonda Rhimes-fueled “TGIT” franchise. Grey's Anatomy, Scandal and How to Get Away with Murder were down from last year's premieres, but still easily won the night among scripted shows. (Fox aired a repeat of Tuesday's Scream Queens premiere.)

But HTGAWM, in particular, saw a worrying drop. Last year, Grey’s Anatomy opened to 10.1 million viewers and a 3.1 rating in the 18-49 demo; Scandal was back with 12.2 million viewers and 3.9 in the demo; and HTGAWM premiered to 14.3 million viewers and a 3.9 in the demo.

Night-to-night comparisons: ABC this year: 9.4 million, last year 12.2 million; CBS this year: 15.8 million, last year 15.4 million; NBC this year: 5.7 million, last year 4.4 million; Fox this year: 2 million, last year 4.3 million.