Also hitting a series-high rating last night: ABC’s Scandal (8.4 million, 2.8). This Shonda Rhimes political soap, which launched last year in midseason, has really impressed. Despite fairly modest ratings when it launched, Scandal‘s numbers have been slowly but semi-steadily creeping upward throughout its run. That’s rare, especially nowadays. It takes a pretty masterful showrunner to claw a broadcast drama up the charts in the current brutal broadcast environment. NBC essentially surrendering its 10 p.m. slot by airing Rock Center with Brian Williams in the hour this season has doubtless helped.
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Meanwhile, the time-period premiere of NBC’s 1600 Penn delivered … oh how do we put this? About 74 percent less than Big Bang. The White House sitcom had 3.9 million viewers and a 1.6 rating. That’s 6 percent lower than Parks & Rec‘s modest average in the slot.
Though Big Bang performed amazingly well, the rest of CBS’ lineup took a slight dip, with Two and a Half Men, Person of Interest and Elementary down a tad from last week when they aired against repeats. On ABC, Last Resort returned (ABC promises the show will deliver a satisfying conclusion during its upcoming series finale), while Grey’s Anatomy perked up slightly compared to its last original a month ago.
UPDATE: In the final national ratings released this afternoon, Big Bang went up even higher. Get this 20 million viewers and a 6.4 in the demo.
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–by james hibberd for ew.com