Fast National ratings for Thursday, September 1, 2011.
 
It's time to get the football regular season started so that preseason games can stop messing up Thursday ratings. As has been the case for the past month, an assortment of NFL games airing on an assortment of networks at an assortment of times made Thursday's Fast National ratings into a pointless-to-interpret mess. CBS came out on top for the night, but how much of that was due to "Big Brother" and how much to the NFL won't be clear until later.
 
Note that football made a mess of several networks on Thursday, though its results are most evident when looking at numbers for CBS and NBC.
 
Among adults 18-49, CBS averaged a 2.6 rating for the night, tops in the key demographic. NBC and ABC both averaged a 1.6 rating, while FOX had a 1.4 rating. The CW pulled in a 0.4 rating for the night.
 
Overall, CBS averaged an estimated 8.62 million viewers and a 5.6 rating/9 share in primetime. ABC was well back in second with a 3.9/6 and 5.93 million, edging out FOX's 3.5/6 and 5.255 million viewers. NBC's 3.2/5 and 4.84 million viewers finished fourth, far ahead of the 1.1 million viewers and 0.8/1 for The CW.
 
[Univision averaged 3.73 million viewers for primetime, along with a 1.6 rating in the key demographic, good for fifth overall and tied for second in the key demo.]
 
8 p.m. - CBS started primetime off in first with 8.95 million viewers and a 2.7 rating among adults 18-49 for two episodes of "The Big Bang Theory" (but mostly football). ABC's "Wipeout" averaged 6.55 million viewers for second, with FOX's "Bones" averaging nearly 5 million viewers in third. NBC was fourth with 4.53 million viewers for episodes of "Community" and "Parks and Recreation" (but mostly football). On The CW, "The Vampire Diaries" averaged 1.07 million viewers.
 
9 p.m. - "Big Brother" (and a lot of football) averaged 9.68 million viewers and a 3.4 rating among adults 18-49 for CBS. FOX's "Bones" (and some football) averaged 5.52 million viewers, beating the 5.39 million viewers for a "Rookie Blue" repeat on ABC. NBC's "The Office" and "30 Rock" averaged 4.835 million viewers, perhaps aided by a little football. The CW's "Plain Jane" (and conceivably some football) averaged 1.14 million viewers.
 
10 p.m. - CBS closed primetime in first with 7.23 million viewers for "The Mentalist." ABC's "Rookie Blue" was second with 5.85 million viewers, beating NBC's 5.15 million viewers for "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit." Football probably impacted those numbers.
 
All ratings information comes from preliminary Fast National Nielsen data, which includes live and same-day DVR viewing. All numbers are subject to change, particularly in the case of live events.