NFL Draft Tops Thursday Ratings; ‘Will & Grace’ Finale Sees Best Viewership In A Year

ABC’s coverage of the NFL Draft on Thursday drew a preliminary 1.6 rating in the adults 18-49 demographic and 6.14 million viewers, easily the best performance in primetime. The first round of the draft, a welcome tonic for sports fans amid the coronavirus crisis, came as NBC wrapped four shows, including the second series finale of Will & Grace (0.5, 3.13M).

The three-hour draft broadcast was a virtual affair that also aired live on ESPN, NFL Network and ESPN Deportes. Its hub was mostly the basement of NFL commissioner’s Westchester County, NY home. Last year’s draft drew a record 6.1 million viewers across NFL, ESPN and ABC and their digital outlets, meaning this year’s Round 1 coverage likely topped that. (We’ll have more detailed ratings numbers later in the day.)

Meanwhile, the series finale of Will & Grace marked the NBC comedy’s most-watched show in more than a year. The show wrapped its second run — spanning 11 seasons and 246 episodes in all, first from 1998-2006 and resuming in 2017 — on par in the demo with its season averages.

It was one of four finales on NBC last night. It was preceded by the Season 6 ender for Superstore (0.7, 3.10M), back from its break to grow a tenth in the demo and more than 1 million viewers from last year’s finale; and Brooklyn Nine-Nine (0.6, 2.32M), even in the demo from last week but up a tenth from its previous finale.

After a Will & Graceful Goodbye special (0.5, 2.94M) that kept most of the crowd from the finale, NBC wrapped up the record 21st season of its Law & Order: SVU (0.7, 3.68M), which was even with last week and last year’s season capper.

ABC won the night overall in both metrics; NBC and CBS tied for No. 2 in the demo, while CBS was second in viewers.

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