TV Ratings: ABC's low CMA Awards telecast leads Thursday, crushes 'X Factor'
'Big Bang Theory,' 'The Vampire Diaries' have strong nights
Follow HitFix: Follow @hitfix
ABC's coverage of the 46th Annual CMA Awards did strong numbers to top CBS both overall and among young viewers on Thursday night. That sounds good until you realize that the show was down over 20 percent from last year in the key demographic and could stand as the least watched CMAs ever.
It was a second straight weak showing for FOX's "The X Factor," which has gotten middling numbers both both of its season-opening live shows. And while "The Vampire Diaries" delivered its biggest numbers since the season premiere, "Beauty and the Beast" drew its smallest audience to date.
[Note that CBS' San Diego affiliate was airing Thursday Night Football. The East Coast also continues to have power outages related to Sandy, so fact that into your interpretation as well.]
For the night, ABC averaged a 3.8 rating among adults 18-49, first in the key demographic. CBS was second with a 3.2 key demo rating, with FOX's 2.3 key demo rating taking third. NBC's 1.3 rating edged out The CW's 1.1 rating in the key demo.
Overall, ABC averaged an 8.4 rating/13 share and 13.57 million viewers, topping the 7.9/12 and 12.71 million viewers for CBS primetime. FOX was a distant third with 6.17 million viewers and a 3.7/6, beating the 2.8/4 and 4.12 million viewers for NBC. The CW averaged 2.45 million viewers and a 1.5/2 for Thursday.
8 p.m. - CBS began primetime in first with "The Big Bang Theory" (15.85 million viewers and a 5.1 key demo rating) and "Two and a Half Men" (12.61 million viewers and a 3.6 key demo rating). The star of ABC's CMA Awards coverage averaged 12.77 million viewers and a 3.4 rating among adults 18-49 for second. FOX's "The X Factor" averaged 6.01 million viewers and a 2.2 key demo rating for a distant third. NBC's encore of "The Voice" finished fourth overall with 3.8 million viewers and fifth with a 1.1 key demo rating. The CW's "The Vampire Diaries" was fourth with a 1.5 key demo rating and fifth with 3.165 million viewers.
9 p.m. - ABC and the CMA Awards took over first in the 9 p.m. hour with 14.07 million viewers and a 4.0 rating among adults 18-49. CBS' "Person of Interest" was second with 13.5 million viewers and a 3.0 key demo rating. FOX's "The X Factor" was far back in third with 6.33 million viewers and a 2.4 key demo rating. NBC's encore of "The Voice" averaged 3.78 million viewers and a 1.4 key demo rating in fourth. On The CW, "Beauty and the Beast" dropped to 1.73 million viewers and a 0.6 key demo rating, though The CW says the show was up a hair among adults 18-34.
10 p.m. - The CMA Awards closed primetime with 13.87 million viewers and a 4.0 rating among adults 18-49 for ABC. CBS' "Elementary" was second with 10.5 million viewers and a 2.4 key demo rating. NBC's "Rock Center" had a better-than-normal episode with 4.78 million viewers and a 1.3 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, particularly in the case of live events.