A surprise-filled elimination episode of "Big Brother" hit season-high ratings for CBS, helping smooth the network's path to an easy Thursday night win.
Among adults 18-49, CBS did a 2.0 rating, beating the 1.4 rating for ABC, NBC and FOX. After that logjam for second, The CW was fifth with a 0.8 rating in the all-important demographic.
Overall, CBS averaged an estimated 7.71 million viewers to go with a 5.1 rating/9 share. ABC was well back in second with a 3.6/6, followed by the 2.9/5 for FOX and NBC's 2.6/5. That left The CW in fifth again with a 1.2/2.
ABC began the night in first with a 5.4/10 for "Who Wants To Be a Millionaire," easily the best performance for the anniversary run of the game show. CBS' "Big Brother 11" was second with a 4.8/9 and actually won the hour in the 18-49 demo with a 2.6 rating. FOX's "Bones" took third with a 2.9/5, topping NBC's "30 Rock" and "Parks and Recreation." The CW's "Supernatural" was fifth with a 1.3/2 (a higher-than-normal figure that suggests that some markets may have been showing NFL preseason or other live programming).
"CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" moved CBS into first at 9 p.m. with a 4.9/9. ABC's "Grey's Anatomy" was second with a 3.2/6. FOX's "House" was third, beating the 2.5/4 for NBC's "The Office" and "30 Rock." The CW's "Supernatural" was down slightly in its second hour.
CBS closed strong at 10 p.m. with a 5.5/10 for "The Mentalist." NBC's "Law & Order" was second with a 2.9/5, leaving ABC's "Private Practice" to trail.
All ratings information comes from preliminary Fast National Nielsen data, which includes live and same-day DVR viewing. All numbers are subject to change.