Rating the Ratings: ABC's oldest active drama pulled off one of its most successful seasons. It just barely dropped year-to-year in Plus in a move to the lower-viewed 8:00 hour, and it was ABC's biggest recent success in the long-troubled hour. It surely benefited to some degree from the early-season heat surrounding fellow TGIT entries Scandal and newbie How to Get Away with Murder. But it also proved its resilience, holding up much better when some adversity struck TGIT with HTGAWM's season ending and Scandal dropping 1.2 points in five episodes. A show that had been nearly a point behind its Scandal lead-out in the winter cut that deficit to only a couple tenths, even before the inflationary events of Grey's last month kicked in.
I was close to going higher than this, but the average was a bit inflated by the events of the last episodes, and it probably would've been more like a -14% or -15% if not for that. I clearly underestimated it big-time before the season, but it's possible the timeslot wasn't as tough as I thought since it had many lead-ins that were probably weaker than local programming when at 9/8c. I wanted the symbolic victory of going even in Plus to get into the A-range. Grade: B+.
Here's the now updated War of 18-49 post for Grey's Anatomy.