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TV Ratings: 'Big Bang Theory,' 'Grey's Anatomy' and 'Person of Interest' are Thursday standouts
'Elementary' also contributes to CBS wins
While the addition of "Two and a Half Men" to Thursday didn't quite produce the magical retention CBS craved, "Big Bang Theory," "Person of Interest" and "Elementary" all ruled their time slots and helped the network win the night in most key measures.
Among other notables, ABC's "Grey's Anatomy" followed up on a cliffhanger finale with a strong return, but "Scandal" squandered most of its lead-in. The news also wasn't terrific for "Glee," which took a big drop against Thursday competition, though there was a decent week-to-week hold for FOX's "The X Factor."
[Note that NBC had NFL preemptions in both Cleveland and Baltimore. They like their NFL in Cleveland and Baltimore. So pay no attention to these NBC numbers. They're going down.]
Among adults 18-49, CBS averaged a 3.4 rating, tops in the key demographic for Thursday night. ABC was second with a 2.9 rating, followed closely by FOX's 2.8 rating. NBC was fourth with a 1.7 rating and The CW averaged a 0.3 key demo rating for the night.
Things were less close overall where CBS averaged an estimated 13.8 million viewers and an 8.6 rating/14 share. There was a big drop to ABC's 6.0/10 and 9.21 million viewers and then to FOX's 4.5/7 and 7.56 million viewers for Thursday night. NBC averaged 4.655 million viewers and a 3.0/5 for Thursday. On The CW, 727,000 viewers tuned in along with a 0.5/1.
8 p.m. - CBS ruled the 8 p.m. hour with "The Big Bang Theory" (15.31 million viewers and a 4.8 key demo rating) and "Two and a Half Men" (12.37 million viewers and a 3.5 key demo), which delivered a huge 8:30 improvement over last year's launch of the quickly cancelled "How To Be a Gentleman." FOX was second with 9.19 million viewers and a 3.2 rating among adults 18-49 for "The X Factor." ABC's "Last Resort" averaged 9.08 million viewers and a 2.2 key demo rating, slightly above the premiere numbers for "Charlie's Angels" last fall and slightly below the total viewer numbers (but above the key demo numbers) for "Missing" in the spring. ["Last Resort" posted growth at the half-hour and, as always, we can't estimate any impact from early online viewership of the pilot.] NBC's "Saturday Night Live" special and "Up All Night" averaged 4.94 million viewers and a 1.8 key demo rating, but both were up by so much over last week due to NFL preemptions that there's no point in breaking out the numbers. The CW's "Vampire Diaries" repeat averaged 771,000 viewers and a 0.3 key demo rating.
9 p.m. - "Person of Interest" returned with 14.27 million viewers to win the 9 p.m. hour for CBS, but the second year drama trailed among adults 18-49 with a 2.9 rating. ABC's "Grey's Anatomy" won the hour with a 4.3 key demo rating and averaged a 11.55 million viewers for second. FOX's "Glee" slipped to 5.925 million viewers and a 2.5 key demo rating in third. NBC's "The Office" and "Parks and Recreation" averaged an inflated 4.85 million viewers and a 2.2 key demo rating. The CW's "The Next" averaged 683,000 viewers and a 0.3 key demo rating.
10 p.m. - "Elementary" controlled the 10 p.m. for CBS averaged 13.29 million viewers and a 3.1 rating among adults 18-49, though the Sherlock Holmes drama dipped to 12.55 million viewers and a 2.9 key demo rating in its second half-hour. ABC's "Scandal" averaged 7.01 million viewers and a 2.2 key demo rating, though it also took a big half-hour drop. ABC's "Rock Center" averaged 4.17 million viewers and a 1.2 key demo rating in third.
NBC UPDATE: Taking NFL out of the equation, "Up All Night" adjusted to a 1.4 rating among adults 18-49, up from last week. "The Office" was steady from last week's key demo tally with a 2.1 rating. Both "SNL" and "Parks and Rec" were down by a tenth of a point in the key demo.
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.