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TV Ratings: 'Big Bang Theory' move helps CBS win Premiere Thursday
'Grey's Anatomy' returns big, but 'My Generation' bombs for ABC
Early returns are positive for CBS' attempt to create a new Thursday comedy block, as "The Big Bang Theory" hopped to a new night and combined with "$#*! My Dad Says" to win its slot and launch nightly wins for CBS. [Though "Community" fans will be relieved to know that "BBT" didn't actually make life worse for their favorite.]
Also on the new series premiere front, "My Generation" was an instant failure, blunting a strong performance by "Grey's Anatomy" and preventing ABC from winning the night in the key demographic. Meanwhile, NBC's launch for "Outsourced" delivered OK returns thanks to its "Office" lead-in.
For the night, CBS averaged a 3.7 rating among adults 18-49, topping the 3.4 rating for ABC in the key demographic. NBC's 2.6 rating and the 2.4 rating for FOX followed. The CW had a 1.3 rating, holding onto its demo audience from last week, even against competition.
Overall, CBS had a little more breathing room, averaging an estimated 14.37 million viewers to go with an 8.8 rating/15 share. ABC was second with a 6.2/10 and 9.43 million viewers. FOX's 4.7/8 and 7.812 million viewers finished third, beating the 3.5/6 and 5.73 million viewers for NBC. The CW was up from last week with 3.394 million viewers and a 2.1 demo rating.
CBS started the night in first with "The Big Bang Theory" (13.95 million viewers and a 4.8 demo rating) and "$#*! My Dad Says" (12.48 million viewers and a 3.9 demo rating). FOX's always steady "Bones" averaged 9.794 million viewers and a 2.7 demo rating, both good for second, in its season premiere. NBC's "Community" (5.01 million and a 2.2 demo rating) and "30 Rock" (5.85 million and a 2.6 demo) weren't huge, but they also didn't falter against the CBS comedies. On ABC, "My Generation" premiered to 5.222 million viewers and a 1.6 demo rating, numbers that almost could have ABC looking back at "The Deep End" and "FlashForward" with fondness. The CW's "The Vampire Diaries" was solidly up from last week with 3.57 million viewers and a 1.6 demo.
"CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" won the 9 p.m. hour overall with 14.57 million viewers, but finished third with a 3.4 demo rating. ABC's "Grey's Anatomy" was dominant in the key demo with a 5.3 rating and second in viewers with 14.04 million viewers. NBC's "The Office" (8.4 million viewers, 4.3 demo) and "Outsourced" (7.44 million, 3.5 demo) finished third overall and second in the demo. FOX premiered a new season of "Fringe" and drew 5.83 million viewers and a 2.1 demo rating. The CW's "Nikita" failed to outdraw its lead-in, but still averaged 3.22 million viewers and a 1.1 demo rating.
"The Mentalist" kept CBS in first overall with 15.325 million viewers and a 3.3 demo rating in the 10 p.m. hour. ABC's "Private Practice" was down to 9.02 million viewers, but still tied for first in the demo. Meanwhile, ABC's non-celebrity "Apprentice" continues to bomb with a Leno-esque 3.85 million viewers and a 1.4 demo rating.
All ratings information comes from preliminary Fast National Nielsen data, which includes live and same-day DVR viewing. All numbers are subject to change.