First the good news about Thursday’s weakened-by-Valentine’s-Day TV ratings: Scandal, while not yet a huge hit for ABC, is almost there. This batshit-fantastic show, which every week does something utterly insane (spoiler: such as turn the president of the United States into a murderer!), did well again last night. And for the first time in the life of the show, it did slightly better in the 18 to 49 demographic than Grey’s Anatomy, its lead-in and sibling (Shonda Rhimes created both shows). Scandal fans can rejoice. Not only has this show started to crescendo among critics and the Twitter-engaged larger audience (called “Gladiators,” in the show’s parlance), but it is not a niche success: At a time when so few dramas do well on the broadcast networks, Scandal is expanding its viewership.
That was the good news. There was so much bad news. Huge hits like The Big Bang Theory and the rest of the CBS lineup were down, but they’re doing fine over there, so don’t worry.
A number of other shows hit series lows. Yes, it was Valentine’s Day, and that explains some of it. But as daylight savings gets closer, we could see these ratings again soon enough. Glee hit a series low in 18 to 49 (1.7, 5.2 million total viewers); American Idol got its lowest in-season demographic rating for an original episode (3.6, 12.3 million total viewers); and one week after its relatively strong premiere, Community fell through the floor, getting a 1.1 demo rating and bringing in a mere 2.7 million viewers. Vampire Diaries on the CW almost tied Community with its 1.0, and the CW doesn’t even target 18- to 49-year-olds.
A bloodbath. Oh, and speaking of which, the campy/terrible/great Zero Hour premiered last night — because Valentine’s Day and Nazi babies go hand in hand — and it fared poorly. It was ABC’s worst premiere ever among adults 18 to 49 (a 1.3). Don’t get attached to those Nazi babies!