On the busiest evening of the new season to date, "Survivor," "Bones" and "The Office" all had strong returns and the new comedy "Community" launched well. At the same time, "Fringe" had only a soft debut, while "The Jay Leno Show" had a big drop."
Among adults 18-49, FOX narrowly won the night with a 3.0 rating, nipping the 2.9 rating for NBC. CBS' 2.5 rating and the 1.4 rating for The CW followed. That left ABC in last with a 1.3 rating.
Overall, though, CBS won the night with an estimated 9.68 million viewers and a 6.1 rating/10 share. FOX's 5.4/9 was second, with NBC's 4.5/8 in third. ABC took fourth with a 3.1/5, beating the 2.2/4 for The CW.
CBS won the 8 p.m. hour with the 6.7/11 for the premiere of "Survivor: Samoa," certainly on the low side for the franchise, but still able to win the hour with a 3.5 demo rating. FOX was a close second with the 6.1/10 for the return of "Bones." NBC's "SNL Weekend Update Thursday" (3.7/6) and "Parks and Recreation" (3.2/6) had tepid debuts. Fourth went to ABC's "Grey's Anatomy" repeat. The CW's "The Vampire Diaries" lost a million viewers from its premiere, but The CW has to be happy with a 2.5/4 and 3.76 million viewers.
In the 9 p.m. hour, CBS' "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" repeat had a 5.7/9. FOX's Thursday premiere of "Fringe" did a 4.7/8, tying with NBC's "The Office" (4.8/8) and "Community" (4.6/8) premieres. While FOX's drama had the advantage in total viewers (7.98 million), NBC's comedies did a 3.8 rating in the key demo, far ahead of the 2.9 for "Fringe," which also dropped at the half-hour. The CW's "Supernatural" was fifth with a 1.9/3.
Overall, the 10 p.m. hour went to CBS' "The Mentalist," which did a 6.0/11. NBC's "The Jay Leno Show" shed nearly five million viewers from Wednesday, doing a 5.5/10 with 8.52 million viewers. "The Jay Leno Show" still won the hour in the 18-49 demo with a 2.7 rating. ABC's "Private Practice" was third.
All ratings information comes from preliminary Fast National Nielsen data, which includes live and same-day DVR viewing. All numbers are subject to change.