The two-hour return of "Grey's Anatomy," plus the returns of CBS' "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" and "The Mentalist" helped roll over the Thursday competition, crushing "Fringe," "Community" and "The Jay Leno Show" in their path.
Also helping ABC to its Thursday domination was a strong performance from the premiere of first-year drama "FlashForward."
Among adults 18-49, ABC averaged a 5.8 rating, dominating CBS' 3.7 rating in the key demographic. FOX was well back in third with a 2.5 rating, while NBC's 2.2 rating and the 1.4 rating for The CW followed.
Overall, ABC averaged an estimated 15.33 million viewers in primetime to go with a 9.8 rating/16. CBS was a close second with an 8.5/14 and 13.97 million viewers. That left FOX in a distant third with a 4.6/7, beating NBC's 3.4/6. The CW's 2.0/3 trailed.
In the 8 p.m. hour, "FlashForward" had a 7.7/13 in its first airing, with 12.4 million viewers and a 4.1 demo rating. CBS' "Survivor" premiere was second with a 6.9/11 and a 3.7 demo rating. FOX's "Bones" was down from its premiere, but still had a solid 5.5/9. NBC's "SNL Weekend Update Thursday" and "Parks & Recreation" were far back in fourth and nearly lost in the 18-49 demo to The CW's "The Vampire Diaires," which held up well with a 2.4/4 and a 1.7 demo rating.
The first hour of "Grey's Anatomy" had an 11.0/17 for ABC, along with a 6.6 demo rating. CBS' "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" premiere had a 9.5/15 for second. NBC's "The Office" (4.4/7) and "Community" (3.4/5) were both down, with "Community" slipping to a 2.8 demo rating. The procedural competition really took a bite out of "Fringe," which had a 3.6/6, plummeting to under 6 million viewers and a 2.3 demo rating. The CW's "Supernatural" was steady in third.
In the 10 p.m. hour, "Grey's Anatomy" maintained its audience and dominated the hour. CBS will hope that against "Private Practice" next week, "The Mentalist" does better than a 9.1/15 and a 3.4 demo rating, for second. In what was always going to be a tough night, "The Jay Leno Show" was down to a 3.4/6 and under 5 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.