Wednesday, July 17, 2019

The Breakdown: ABC Thursday in 2018-19 (Grey's Anatomy, Station 19, How to Get Away with Murder and more!)

It's time for a journey through the ABC Thursday schedule in 2018-19...


2017-18Grey's AnatomyScandalHow to Get Away with Murder126
2018-19Grey's AnatomyStation 19How to Get Away with Murder120 (-5%)
175 (-6%)107 (+1%)77 (-9%)

TGIT's best trends of the year came in the fall, as Station 19 performed in line with the final season of Scandal and the surrounding veterans took only modest year-to-year declines.


2017-18Grey's AnatomyScandalHow to Get Away with Murder130
2018-19Grey's AnatomyA Million Little ThingsHow to Get Away with Murder116 (-11%)
171 (-11%)113 (+0%)63 (-28%)

In the winter, ABC decided to give a big timeslot upgrade to newbie A Million Little Things, which had shown a little promise on Wednesday at 10/9c. It got a huge boost relative to its Wednesday ratings, keeping ABC even year-to-year in that slot. But the surrounding hours suffered; Grey's had its worst trends of the year (getting compared against that dazzling run of 2.3's in winter 2018), while Murder cratered after its new but similar-rated lead-in.


2017-18Grey's AnatomyStation 19Scandal114
2018-19Grey's AnatomyStation 19For the People98 (-14%)
149 (-6%)95 (-1%)51 (-42%)

The spring brought the second half of Station 19's season, in which it stayed close to its own first season ratings, while Grey's had slightly better trends at 8/7c. But the network couldn't drum up any new interest in sophomore For the People at 10/9c, which paled hugely in comparison to the year-ago final episodes of Scandal.

Rating the Ratings

Grey's Anatomy*1.31.561.9-19%164big hit-7%detail
Station 190.80.951.3-10%100solid+4%detail
A Million Little Things0.70.921.197marginaldetail
How to Get Away with Murder*0.50.670.8-29%70marginal-18%detail
For the People0.40.490.6-22%52flop-10%detail

Grey's Anatomy: A phenomenal three-year run of Plus growth finally came to an end, and Grey's dropped enough that it fell behind not just last season but also the previous one. It's set such a high standard that I can't ding it too much for coming down a bit from that. Grade: B-.

Station 19: Airing in the fall and spring was definitely easier than just the spring in season one, and the A Million Little Things performance showed that its performance wasn't really that amazing. Is it worth having around when it may only be viable in one timeslot and that timeslot is occupied by A Million Little Things? We'll see. But for now, it hung in there rather decently. Grade: B-.

A Million Little Things: Already updated.

How to Get Away with Murder: After the live-friendly Station 19 lead-in, it had some pretty OK trends for much of the fall, but just got really, really ugly once A Million Little Things arrived in the winter. That added up to about the same drop as last year. Grade: C-.

For the People: Not that bad of a raw year-to-year drop, but it was being compared with a poor season one standard and aired in what should've been more compatible circumstances this year. Grade: D+.

The names in this last table link to the shows' War of 18-49 pages. Links with an asterisk(*) have been updated with the new info. Updates to younger shows will come later in the summer.

Here's the now updated Schedules Plus for ABC Thursday.

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