By Alan Pergament
For a highly entertaining game that wasn't decided until the final two minutes, the Buffalo Bills' 37-24 loss Thursday to the Cleveland Browns on the NFL Network's Thursday Night Football package had a surprisingly low rating here.
The combined rating from local station WBBZ (18.9) and the NFL Network (12.0) was a 30.9, which made it the second-lowest-rated of the five Bills games played this season.
The Bills win over Baltimore last Sunday had a 33.7 rating and the Bills loss to the New York Jets in a late afternoon game Sept. 22 had a 39.7 rating.
However, Thursday's rating was higher than the 30.5 rating the Bills-Panthers game had on WUTV on Sept. 15.
Of course, calling the rating for the Bills-Brown game low begs for some perspective. The rating was more than three times that of the Buffalo Sabres' opening game loss (9.8) to Detroit carried on the NBC Sports Network.
And the Bills rating was more than double the local rating for any prime time network program Thursday. CBS' "The Big Bang Theory" on Channel 4 had a 15.2 rating at 8 p.m. before the Bills game began.
Most network prime time programs took big hits here opposite the Bills game. The 8:30 p.m. premiere of CBS' "The Millers" (11.2) on Channel 4 was the only other network show to hit double figures. Robin Williams' new CBS comedy "The Crazy Ones" (7.3) took a big hit here from its premiere rating.
None of NBC's programs Thursday had higher than a 3.3 rating on Channel 2, including Sean Hayes new comedy "Sean Saves the World" (3.3) and "The Michael J. Fox Show" (3.3).
Over at Channel 7, ABC's highest-rated program was "Grey's Anatomy" (6.3), which has been playing longer than any Bill on the roster. "Grey's" out-scored the premiere of the popular 10 p.m. show "Scandal" (5.2) here.
Fox's "X-Factor" had a 2.4 rating on Channel 29.
Interestingly, the CW series "Vampire Diaries" (2.0) on WNLO-TV out-rated NBC and ABC programs here. That doesn't happen too often.
Of course, almost all of Thursday's shows will be On Demand, which means a lot of people watching the Bills have a lot of catching up to do this weekend on their favorite TV shows.