ABC’s freshman series “How to Get Away With Murder” set a ratings record with its debut episode. The “new drama delivered the largest-ever total viewer increase in Live + 3(-day) ratings for any telecast on any network,” reports TVbytheNumbers.com. That increase was 6 million viewers.
“The series skyrocketed to 20.3 million viewers and a 5.8 rating among adults 18-49,” says The Hollywood Reporter in its story about “Murder’s” record-breaking performance. THR adds, “Not only do those gains top the growth of previous freshman demo champ ‘Gotham,’ they eclipse its total haul as well. Each fall has produced new time-shifting records as more and more viewers choose to watch broadcast series on their own timetable.”
According to TVbytheNumbers, the previous record holder was the Jan. 27, 2014, airing of NBC’s “The Blacklist,” which added 5.6 million viewers in Live + 3-day ratings.
Here’s an analysis of the ratings of “How to Get Away With Murder” by our good friend Lisa de Moraes at Deadline.com: ”The ‘Murder’ ratings news was not entirely unexpected, given the perfect-storm nature of Premiere Week Thursday. ‘Murder’ was one of the season’s most anticipated launches — part of ABC’s powerhouse Shondaland Thursdays. CBS, meanwhile, two weeks earlier had launched its Thursday NFL football package in the thick of the league’s domestic violence scandal. Last Thursday’s game, not coincidentally, enjoyed a Live + 3-day gain in audience of exactly 0, because it’s, you know, football. With Live + 3 added in, ‘Murder’ moves ahead of CBS’s football in overall audience by about 4 million viewers. And, at this rate, ‘Murder’ stands a fighting chance of winding up Premiere Week Thursday’s highest-rated broadcast in the demo, once Live + 7 stats are available. Right now it trails football by 2/10th of a rating point in Live + 3.”