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TV Ratings: 'Big Bang Theory' thumps 'Idol' to rule Thursday while 'Community' holds
'Rake' takes a big drop for FOX
In their first head-to-head meeting of the season, "The Big Bang Theory" crushed "American Idol" as CBS rolled to primetime wins in all measures.
Among several Thursday notables, NBC's "Community" was able to withstand the new "Big Bang" episode, basically duplicating last week's ratings, which weren't exactly great, but sometimes you have to take good-ish news with grains of salt. "Parks and Recreation" was also stable with last week.
Meanwhile, "Rake" took a big drop in its second week, proving to be particularly weak in the young demos that have traditionally been the bread and butter for its "American Idol" lead-in.
Finally, "The Vampire Diaries" was down a hair for The CW, but "Reign" was flat week-to-week, with counts as good news for that network.
On to the numbers...
Among adults 18-49, CBS averaged a 2.6 rating for Thursday night, topping FOX's 2.2 rating in the key demographic. NBC was third with a 1.6 key demo rating, followed by ABC's 1.0 key demo rating and The CW's 0.8 key demo rating for the night.
Overall, CBS averaged an estimated 11.3 million viewers and a 7.0 rating/11 share for Thursday primetime, again beating FOX's 8.27 million viewers and 5.0/8 for the night. NBC was third with 4.155 million viewers and a 2.6/4, edging out the 2.4/4 and 3.6 million viewers for ABC. The CW did a 1.3/2 and 2.02 million viewers for the night.
8 p.m. - CBS won the 8 p.m. hour easily with "The Big Bang Theory" (18.875 million viewers and a 5.1 key demo rating) and "The Millers" (11.79 million viewers and a 2.8 key demo rating). FOX's "American Idol" was second with 11.23 million viewers and a 3.1 rating among adults 18-49. [FOX would prefer to emphasize that "Idol" was only down 6 percent from last week and that "Big Bang Theory" was off by 11 percent from its last original.] ABC's "The Taste" was third overall with 3.41 million viewers, but finished fifth in the key demo with a 0.9 rating. NBC's "Community" (2.99 million and a 1.1 key demo) and "Parks and Recreation" (2.95 million and a 1.2 key demo) stood their ground in fourth overall and third in the key demo. The CW's "The Vampire Diaries" was fifth with 2.355 million viewers and fourth with a 1.0 key demo rating.
9 p.m. - CBS stayed in first for the 9 p.m. hour with "The Crazy Ones" (8.27 million and a 1.9 key demo) and "Two and a Half Men" (8.545 million and a 1.9 key demo). FOX's "Rake" was second with 5.3 million viewers and third with a 1.3 key demo rating. NBC was third with the redundantly titled "Saturday Night Live Presents an SNL Sports Spectacular" special, which averaged 4.75 million viewers, coming in second with a 1.7 key demo rating. ABC's "The Taste" was fourth with 3.65 million viewers and a 1.2 key demo rating. On The CW, "Reign" averaged 1.69 million viewers and a 0.7 key demo rating.
10 p.m. - "Elementary" completed CBS' primetime sweep with a well-above-season-averaged 10.16 million viewers and a 2.0 rating among adults 18-49, its biggest audience since the season premiere. NBC's "SNL" special was second with 4.74 million viewers and a 1.8 key demo rating, beating the 3.75 million viewers and 1.0 key demo rating for a "Shark Tank" repeat on ABC.
[UPDATE: Lots of Thursday shows got little bumps in Final Live+Same Day numbers. "The Big Bang Theory" ticked up to 19.05 million and a 5.2 rating among adults 18-49, while "American Idol" rose to 11.42 million and a 3.2 key demo rating. "Community" stayed with a 1.1 key demo rating, but rose to 3.01 million, while "Parks and Recreation" rose to a 1.3 in the key demo and also leap-frogged "Community" with 3.03 million viewers. The big loser was, as usual, "The Millers" which dropped to 11.5 million viewers and a 2.6 key demo rating. "Two and a Half Men" ticked up to a 2.0 key demo rating to edge out "The Crazy Ones," which stayed steady with a 1.9 key demo rating. And while "Elementary" dropped to a 1.9 key demo rating, it rose to 10.34 million total viewers, its biggest audience of the season.]
All ratings information comes from preliminary Fast National Nielsen data, which includes live and same-day DVR viewing. All numbers are subject to change.