Ratings: Patrick Dempsey's Surprise 'Grey's Anatomy' Return on ABC

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Ratings: Patrick Dempsey’s Surprise ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Return Is Thursday’s Top Entertainment Show

But ABC medical drama’s Season 17 premiere was down from last year’s start

Thursday was a Dream(y) come true for “Grey’s Anatomy” fans. Patrick Dempsey made a surprise return to the ABC medical drama — via Meredith Grey’s (Ellen Pompeo) dreams — for its Season 17 premiere.

While the cameo helped make “Grey’s” broadcast television’s top entertainment show in primetime last night, the two-hour premiere was down from last year’s Season 16 start (a 1.5 rating and 6.5 million viewers). It also couldn’t keep up with a lackluster NFL game on Fox, though that is to be expected.

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Since the Dr. McDreamy guest spot was unannounced, readers should expect a good amount of growth in delayed viewing. Dempsey will be on again next week, so now fans know what to expect.

Fox was first in ratings with a 2.1 rating in the advertiser-coveted 18-49 demographic and in total viewers with an average of 8 million, according to preliminary numbers. Those were the averages for the Indianapolis Colts vs. Tennessee Titans “Thursday Night Football” game.

ABC was second in ratings with a 1.2 and in viewers with 5.9 million. The “Station 19” Season 4 premiere at 8 p.m. drew a 1.1 rating and 6.3 million viewers. From 9 to 11, the “Grey’s” season premiere landed a 1.3 and 5.7 million viewers.

CBS was third in ratings with a 0.5 and in viewers with 4.1 million. “Young Sheldon” at 8 posted a 0.8 rating and 7.1 million viewers. At 8:30, “B Positive” had a 0.5 and 4.7 million viewers. “Mom” at 9 got a 0.6 and 5.1 million viewers. The Season 4 premiere of “The Unicorn” at 9:30 settled for a 0.4 and 4 million viewers. An episode of CBS All Access series “Star Trek: Discovery” followed, finishing off primetime.

NBC was fourth in ratings with a 0.4 and in viewers with 2.2 million. “Superstore” at 8 had a 0.5 rating and 2.3 million viewers. Following a rerun, the Season 22 premiere of “Law & Order: SVU” at 9 got a 0.6 and 2.9 million viewers. A Paley Center special celebrating the “Law & Order: SVU” cast at 10 managed a 0.3 and 1.8 million viewers.

The CW’s primetime averaged a 0.2 rating and 722,000 viewers. “Supernatural” at 8 had a 0.3 rating and 1 million viewers. At 9, “The Outpost” got a 0.1 and 436,000 viewers.

We do not yet have Nielsen numbers for Spanish-language networks Univision and Telemundo.

Tony Maglio

Tony Maglio

TV Editor • [email protected] • Twitter: @tonymaglio

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