The Slap premiered on NBC Thursday night to scant attention, dragging down the rest of network's lineup and giving Shondaland the win.

An eight-episode "event", The Slap stars Peter Sarsgaard, Zachary Quinto, Melissa George and Thandie Newton. It chronicles the repercussions from a man slapping a child who is not his own at a social affair in upscale Brooklyn.

It's serious adult drama, but unfortunately it didn't draw much of an adult audience. The Slap notched a weak 1.1 rating in the 18-49 year old demographic. The analgous comparison would be to Believe, which NBC rolled out about the same time last year with ratings 60 per cent higher. And that drama did not survive its first season. In all, 5.1 million viewers tuned in to see The Slap.

The bad news for NBC is that leading off the night, The Slap created a domino effect on the programs that followed. The Blacklist was down 29 per cent from last year and Allegiance slid 36 per cent.

That in turn made ABC's Shonda Rhimes trifecta – Grey's Anatomy, Scandal and How to Get Away with Murder – the night's ratings winner.

How far has the once dominant American Idol fallen? It didn't prevail Thursday in either ratings (2.3) or in total viewers (9.51) in its 8 p.m. timeslot. That ain't good, dog.

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