Lusty debut for ABC's 'Grey's Anatomy'
medialifemagazine.comThe network knew that it would pull a huge audience for the return of Desperate Housewives last night after four weeks of reruns. So it premiered the Seattle-based medical drama Grey's Anatomy Sunday after Housewives, and the show delivered a promising debut.
In the 10 p.m. timeslot usually occupied by Boston Legal, Anatomy averaged a 7.2 rating among viewers 18-49 according to Nielsen overnights, 46.9 percent better than the 4.9 Legal has averaged season-to-date. The show was able to steal some viewers from NBC's competing Crossing Jordan, which averaged a 3.7 rating, down 11.9 percent from its 4.2 season-to-date average.
Of course Anatomy benefited from having Housewives as its lead-in. The show was the night's highest-rated among 18-49s with a 10.7 average, slightly higher than its 10.3 season-to-date average, though down from an 11.0 rating for its last original episode on Feb. 20. Grey's retained 67 percent of its lead-in. That's not a great number80 percent is considered the minimum for successbut when the show is as disproportionately popular as Housewives, 67 percent isn't awful.
Grey's averaged 16.2 million total viewers compared with 24 million for Housewives. "Legal" averaged 12.6 million total viewers thus far this season, about 30 percent less than "Grey's" drew. The show's 18-49 rating dipped just 9 percent from its first half-hour to its second, another good indicator of whether people will tune in next week. Grey's is scheduled to run three more weeks before Boston returns.