Thursday’s 10 PM debut of Shonda Rhimes’ new ABC series How to Get Away With Murder became the biggest overall gainer of Premiere Week 2014-15, adding 6.0 million total viewers after 3 days of playback. The new drama, created by Peter Nowalk, clocked the biggest ever total viewer increase in L+3 for any telecast on any network, season, beating previous record holder, NBC’s The Blacklist episode of January 27, 2014, which had grown by 5.6 million viewers. HTGAWM climbed to 20.3 million total viewers and counting for its kickoff episode in the just released L+3 data.

Murder is the second biggest gainer so far this season in the demo, adding 1.9 rating points to its L+SD tally. It trails only CBS’ The Big Bang Theory fall premiere of Sept 22nd. Murder is, however, the No. 1-ranked gainer among freshman series, topping the playback gains of Fox’s Gotham, which gained 1.8 rating points. HTGAWM jumped to a 5.8 rating, when L+3 numbers are factored
in.

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 thick of the league’s domestic violence scandal.

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