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'Scandal' vs. 'Blacklist' ratings battle: Who won?

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Nicole Wilder/ABC

ABC’s Scandal faced off against NBC’s The Blacklist after the latter stepped into the Thursday night ring in its new time slot. 

Which of these two hits won 9 p.m.? Depends which network you ask. Blacklist had 9.9 million viewers and a 2.3 rating in the demo vs. Scandal‘s 9.5 million and a chart-toppping 3.1 rating. Overall, you have to give the trophy to Scandal by leading with such a large margin of advertiser-attractive younger viewers. As for Blacklist, the show was without its usual The Voice lead-in plus was in a new time slot. But James Spader and Co. also just received a huge promotional push thanks to airing an episode after the Super Bowl which 26.5 million viewers checked out.

So it looks like all these conflicting new variables just canceled each other out and Blacklist did a very typical Blacklist-ian number. For NBC, this is good news — the broadcaster has been so struggling on Thursdays over the years due to the implosion of its comedy block that Blacklist posted its highest viewership total since the ER finale in 2009. 

Meanwhile another freshman drama, Fox’s Backstrom (3.6 million, 1.0), fell 29 percent against Blacklist

Also on the grid last night: NBC’s new “it’s not-The Americans!” spy drama Allegiance was dead-dropped into 10 p.m. (4.9 million, 1.1 rating). Allegiance ranked in third place, was crushed by ABC’s How to Get Away with Murder, and lost more than half its Blacklist lead-in. This is why NBC should put pilots online for voting first—we could have spared everybody a lot of trouble. 

More to come…