TV Ratings: 'Big Bang Theory' premiere leads Thursday, while 'Crazy Ones' dominates 'Michael J. Fox'
'Parks and Rec' and 'Glee' return fairly weak
NBC's big swing with "The Michael J. Fox Show" failed to change the Thursday pecking order as "The Big Bang Theory" remained dominant and helped lift "The Crazy Ones" to a big debut and CBS to easy Thursday wins.
In a TV landscape in which most shows are returning below previous premiere levels, "Big Bang Theory" was up in most measures from last fall, albeit below several winter episodes from last season.
That doesn't mean that "The Michael J. Fox Show" was a disaster for NBC, since it improved on a weak premiere for "Parks and Recreation" and showed no half-hour drop for the two-hour launch. And "Parenthood" came in above the numbers for most of what NBC aired its 10 p.m. Thursday death slot last year.
Meanwhile, ABC's "Grey's Anatomy" premiere was down from last year but sturdy, and FOX's "The X Factor" continued its slightly unexpected trending of week-to-week growth despite stiffer competition.
On to the numbers…
Among adults 18-49, CBS averaged a 3.7 rating for Thursday, easily winning the valuable night in the key demographic. ABC was second with a 2.7 key demo rating, followed by FOX's 2.0 rating and the 1.7 key demo rating for NBC. The CW averaged a 0.3 key demo rating.
Overall, CBS had an even larger margin-of-victory, averaging 14.21 million viewers and an 8.6 rating/14 share for Thursday primetime, topping ABC's 7.89 million viewers and 5.3/9. FOX was third for the night with 5.77 million viewers and a 3.6/6, just ahead of the 3.4/6 and 5.26 million viewers for NBC. The CW averaged 856,000 viewers and a 0.5/1 for the night.
8 p.m. - "The Big Bang Theory" dominated the 8 p.m. hour with 18.91 million viewers and a 5.6 rating among adults 18-49 for two episodes, drawing over 19.5 million and a 5.8 key demo rating for the second half-hour. FOX's "The X Factor" was a distant second with 6.38 million viewers and a 2.0 key demo rating, followed by the 5.17 million viewers and 1.4 key demo rating for ABC's repeat of "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." NBC's hour-long "Parks and Recreation" premiere averaged only 3.33 million viewers and a 1.3 key demo rating, which at least still trounced the 924,000 viewers and 0.3 key demo rating for a "Vampire Diaries" repeat on The CW.
9 p.m. - CBS stayed in first for the 9 p.m. hour with the premiere of "The Crazy Ones" (15.61 million and a 4.0 key demo rating) and the return of "Two and a Half Men" (11.54 million and a 2.9 key demo rating). ABC's "Grey's Anatomy" returned with 9.18 million viewers and a 3.3 key demo rating. NBC's "The Michael J. Fox Show" rose from its lead-in to 7.28 million viewers and a 2.1 key demo rating, staying stable from episode-to-episode in the key demo and rising an insignificant amount in total viewers. FOX's "Glee" averaged 5.17 million viewers and a 2.0 key demo rating in its premiere. The CW's encore of "America's Next Top Model" averaged 789,000 viewers and a 0.2 key demo rating.
10 p.m. - "Elementary" won the 10 p.m. hour overall with 10.14 million viewers, but finished second with a 2.1 rating among adults 18-49 and dropped at the half-hour. ABC's "Grey's Anatomy" averaged 9.33 million viewers and an hour-winning 3.4 key demo rating. NBC's "Parenthood" was third with 5.17 million viewers and a 1.6 key demo rating in its first airing in this time period.
All ratings information comes from preliminary Fast National Nielsen data, which includes live and same-day DVR viewing. All numbers are subject to change.