Ratings: Shondaland Premiere Night Powers ABC to Best Thursday in 5 Years

“How to Get Away With Murder” debuts to 14 million viewers

Viola Davis in "How to Get Away With Murder"

Perhaps ABC should just program Shonda Rhimes shows five nights a week — maybe even all seven.

The network’s Shondaland Thursdays debut handed ABC its most-watched Thursday night in five years. And according to preliminary numbers — which are not time zone-adjusted and thus might understate CBS’s “Thursday Night Football” — ABC was actually the most-watched network on the competitive night.

CBS beat all comers in the key demo with its NFL game, however. The network was first in ratings with an approximate 4.2 rating/13 share in the advertiser-coveted 18-49 demographic and second in viewers with an average of 11.86 million, according to preliminary numbers. The pregame show at 8 p.m. ET earned a 2.7/10 and 8.5 million viewers. The game itself — in which the New York Giants blew out the Washington Redskins — scored a night-high 4.5/14 and had 12.5 million viewers.

Also read: ‘How to Get Away With Murder’ Reviews: At Least Critics Can Agree Viola Davis Is Fantastic

ABC was second in ratings with a 3.5/11 and first in viewers with 11.90 million. At 8, the “Grey’s Anatomy” season premiere received a 3.0/10 and had 9.8 million viewers. At 9, the “Scandal” season opener earned a 3.8/11 and 11.9 million viewers. The series debut of “How to Get Away With Murder” at 10 scored a 3.8/11 and a primetime-best 14 million viewers.

NBC was third in ratings with a 1.3/4 and in viewers with 4.4 million. “The Biggest Loser” at 8 got a 1.3/4 and 4.5 million viewers. At 10, the season premiere of “Parenthood” had a 1.4/4 and 4.3 million viewers.

Univision was fourth in ratings with a 1.2/4 and fifth in total viewers with 3.1 million.

Also read: ‘How to Get Away With Murder’ Creator on Shonda Rhimes: ‘She’s Such a Genius’

Fox was fifth in ratings with a 1.1/4 and fourth in total viewers with 4.3 million. The season premiere of “Bones” at 8 received a 1.6/5 and 6.2 million viewers. A rerun followed.

Telemundo was sixth in ratings with a 0.6/2 and in total viewers with 1.5 million.

The CW was seventh in ratings with a 0.2/1 and in total viewers with 604,000, airing repeats.