Fast National ratings for Thursday, December 15, 2011.
Led by new episodes of "Person of Interest" and "The Mentalist," CBS comfortably won Thursday night facing either repeats or viewer-shunned offerings like ABC's Katie Couric special or NBC's "Prime Suspect."
Among adults 18-49, CBS averaged a 2.8 rating for the night, topping FOX's 2.2 rating in the key demographic. ABC was third with a 1.6 rating, doubling up NBC's 0.8 rating. The CW averaged a 0.3 rating in the key demo.
Overall, CBS averaged nearly 11.9 million viewers and a 7.4 rating/12 share for Thursday primetime. FOX was a distant second with a 4.7/7 and 7.54 million viewers, still way ahead of ABC's 3.7/6 and 5.81 million viewers. NBC's 1.8/3 and 2.63 million viewers still bettered the 0.7/1 and 945,000 viewers for The CW.
[Univision averaged 3.46 million viewers and a 1.4 rating among adults 18-49 for Thursday primetime.]
8 p.m. - The 8 p.m. block was the only hour that featured any real competition on Thursday. CBS finished first overall and a close second among adults 18-49 with a "Big Bang Theory" repeat (10.145 million viewers and a 2.8 key demo) and a new "Rules of Engagement" (9.71 million viewers and a 2.7 key demo). FOX's "The X Factor" averaged 9.65 million viewers for second overall and won the hour with a 2.8 (or even 2.85) key demo rating, though both numbers represented declines from recent results episodes. ABC's "A Charlie Brown Christmas" was third with 6.405 million viewers and a 1.8 key demo rating. NBC's repeats of "Community" and "Parks & Recreation" averaged 2.05 million viewers and a 0.7 key demo rating. The CW's "Vampire Diaries" repeat averaged 1.015 million viewers and a 0.3 key demo rating.
9 p.m. - CBS moved into a comfortable lead in the 9 p.m. hour with the 12.79 million viewers and 2.8 rating among adults 18-49 for "Person of Interest." ABC's "The Year With Katie Couric" special was a distant second with 5.73 million viewers, edging out the 5.42 million viewers for FOX's "Bones" repeat, while both networks delivered a 1.5 key demo rating. NBC's "The Office" and "Whitney" repeats averaged only 2.23 million viewers and a 0.9 rating, again staying ahead of only The CW's repeat of "Secret Circle," which averaged 874,000 viewers and a 0.3 key demo rating.
10 p.m. - "The Mentalist" capped CBS' primetime win with 12.98 million viewers and a 2.7 rating among adults 18-49 for the 10 p.m. hour. ABC's Katie Couric special slipped to 5.31 million viewers and a 1.4 key demo rating in its second hour. And on NBC, a new episode of "Prime Suspect" drew only 3.62 million viewers and a 0.8 key demo rating.
All ratings information comes from preliminary Fast National Nielsen data, which includes live and same-day DVR viewing. All numbers are subject to change.
A long-time member of the TCA Board and a longer-time blogger of "American Idol," Dan Fienberg writes about TV, except for when he writes about movies or sometimes writes about the Red Sox. But never music. He would sound stupid talking about music.