With ratings gains from "Scandal" and "Grey's Anatomy," ABC beat rival broadcasters in a key demo on Thursday as Fox's "American Idol" hit another low.
"Scandal" was the highest-rated show of the night, drawing an average of 8.9 million viewers, according to early numbers from Nielsen. Among 18- to 49-year-olds, the beltway drama earned a rating of 2.9, up 4% from last week.
"Grey's Anatomy" grew a bit week-to-week to a 2.4 in the 18-49 demo, in which a ratings point equals about 1.3 million viewers. With a low 0.8 from "Once Upon a Time in Wonderland," ABC scored an average of 2.0 in prime time, making it the top network on Thursday.
On Fox, "American Idol" fell to a 1.9, putting it below the 2.0 mark for the first time. "Hell's Kitchen" fell just 11% from last week's premiere to a 1.7, giving Fox an average of 1.8 in 18-49.
CBS aired March Madness, for which early ratings are not adjusted for time zones and thus not reliable. According to the preliminary numbers, CBS basketball drew about 3.8 million viewers on average, down from the same night last year.
"Community" gained a 10th of a point from last week for a 1.1 in 18-49, while "Parks & Recreation" and "Parenthood" maintained their status quo with a 1.2 each.
On the CW, "Vampire Diaries" returned after a couple weeks off with 2.2 million viewers and a 1.0 in 18-49, essentially equal to its last original episode, though it rose in other demos. In the 8 p.m. hour, it was the top broadcast show among 18-34-year-old women. "Reign" rose from last Thursday to a 0.7.