On the surface, Thursday night stayed true to form. CBS won the night overall and ABC won the key demographic. But things beneath the surface were a little topsy-turvy.
Among adults 18-49, ABC won with a 3.1 rating, but CBS and FOX were right behind with a 3.0 rating. NBC was fourth with a 2.3 rating, leaving The CW in a close fifth with a 1.5 rating in the key demographic.
Overall, CBS averaged an estimated 12.54 million viewers to go with a 7.8 rating/13 share. Now the ratings say that ABC's 6.0/10 was second, nipping the 5.9/9 for FOX, but FOX averaged nearly a million more viewers. NBC was still fourth with a 3.3/5, while The CW's 2.0/3 was fifth.
FOX started the night in first, as "Bones" continued its recent roll with a 7.4/12 and a 3.3 rating in the key demo. CBS was second with the 5.1/8 for "Surviving Survivor." ABC's "The Deep End" had a 3.5/6 to nip the overall ratings for NBC's "Community" and "Parks and Recreation," though NBC had a comfortable advantage in the 18-49 demo. In fact, "The Deep End" was fifth in the key demo, as The CW's "The Vampire Diaries" had a 2.4/4 overall, with nearly 4.02 million viewers and also did a 1.8 demo rating for fourth.
CBS moved into first overall at 9 p.m. with an 8.9/14 for "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation." ABC's "Grey's Anatomy" had a lackluster 8.1/13 overall, but won the hour in the key demo with a 4.5 rating. FOX's "Fringe" was third overall with a 4.3/7 for its winter finale, but finished fourth in the key demo with a 2.6 rating. NBC's "The Office" and "30 Rock" had a 4.0/6 overall and finished second in the key demo. The CW's "Supernatural" lost a good chunk of its lead-in and finished fifth.
"The Mentalist" had a 9.4/16 to win the 10 p.m. hour overall, drawing 14.75 million viewers, the biggest audience of the night. ABC's "Private Practice" was second with a 6.3/11 and won the hour in the key demo with a 3.4 rating. NBC's "The Jay Leno Show" drew under 4 million viewers.
All ratings information comes from preliminary Fast National Nielsen data, which includes live and same-day DVR viewing. All numbers are subject to change.