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The Vampire Diaries ratings released

The CW drama falters in its seventh season debut against CBS football

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The CW

Viola Davis rocked a fine collection of sleeveless dresses on How to Get Away with Murder but no amount of excellent couture could fight off the serious competition from NFL football on CBS. 

HTGAWM hit a series low 2.1 rating in 18-49, down 9 percent from last week, according to early Nielsen estimates. The drama’s lead-ins also suffered single-digit drops from the previous week: Grey’s Anatomy was down 9 percent to a 2.1 and Scandal down 7 percent to a 2.6 rating. But ABC still has good news to celebrate: the Kerry Washington drama was the most-popular scripted series of the night, and the Shondaland shows remain big hits with the delayed-viewing crowd. 

Each 18-49 ratings point is worth 1.27 million, says Nielsen.

NBC and its male-skewing dramas felt the brunt of the NFL competition on CBS, the night’s big winner. Heroes: Reborn was down 25 percent to a 1.2 rating, followed by The Blacklist (1.5, down 17 percent) and The Player (.9, down 10 percent). Still, NBC wants to remind all that Blacklist remains broadcast TV’s most upscale drama so far this season among adults 18-49 with $100k-plus incomes. So, there.

Fox also felt the heat from the gridiron action: Bones earned a 1.3, down a tenth from last week, while Sleepy Hollow remained even with a 1.0. 

After two nights of good ratings news (thanks Flash and Arrow!), CW saw its numbers drop with the return of The Vampire Diaries (.6, down 33 percent) and The Originals (.4, down 43 percent).