The season finale of "Scandal" drew big numbers on Thursday and helped ABC win Thursday among young viewers, but Thursday's most watched show was still a "Big Bang Theory" repeat, which let CBS eke out a slim win overall.
Stay tuned for Final Live+Same Day ratings to see if ABC was able to push into the lead overall.
The "Parks and Recreation," "Vampire Diaries" and "Crazy Ones" numbers were all series lows, if you're keeping score at home.
On to the numbers...
Among adults 18-49, ABC averaged a 2.2 rating for Thursday night, comfortably winning the key demographic. CBS and FOX both posted a 1.6 key demo rating for second, with NBC's 1.0 key demo rating taking fourth. The CW averaged a 0.6 key demo rating for the night.
Overall, though, CBS averaged an estimated 7.37 million viewers and a 4.7/8 for Thursday primetime, compared to the 7.32 million viewers and 4.9/8 for ABC. Like I said, check back this afternoon. Things could change! FOX is likely to remain in third after averaging 5.46 million viewers and a 3.4/6, still well ahead of the 2.1/4 and 3.27 million viewers for NBC. The CW averaged 1.53 million viewers and a 1.0/2 for the night.
8 p.m. - CBS started primetime in first with 10.25 million viewers and a 2.4 rating among adults 18-49 for two repeats of "The Big Bang Theory." [The 8:30 repeat averaged 10.83 million and was Thursday's top show.] FOX was second with 4.82 million viewers and a 1.7 key demo rating for "Hell's Kitchen," which bounced back over last week's season low. ABC's repeat of "Grey's Anatomy" was third for the hour with 3.42 million viewers and fourth with a 0.8 key demo rating. NBC was fourth overall and third in the key demo with the season finale of "Community" (2.9 million and a 1.0 key demo) and a new "Parks and Recreation" (2.39 million and a 0.9 key demo). On The CW, "The Vampire Diaries" averaged only 1.66 million viewers and a 0.7 key demo rating.
9 p.m. - "Grey's Anatomy" pushed ABC into first for the 9 p.m. hour with 8.1 million viewers and a 2.5 rating among adults 18-49. FOX followed with "American Idol" (7.88 million viewers and a 1.9 key demo) and "Surviving Jack" (4.3 million and a 1.0 key demo rating). CBS' season (probably series) finale for "The Crazy Ones" averaged 5.83 million viewers for third and a 1.5 key demo to tie for second. On NBC, "Hollywood Game Night" averaged 3.2 million viewers and a 0.9 key demo rating, well ahead of the 1.39 million viewers and 0.4 key demo rating for "Reign."
10 p.m. - ABC's "Scandal" finale ruled the 10 p.m. hour with 10.45 million viewers and a 3.4 rating among adults 18-49. [That represents the second biggest audience and tied for second biggest key demo rating for the drama.] CBS' repeat of "NCIS" averaged 6.03 million viewers for second and a 1.0 key demo rating for third, compared to the 3.96 million viewers and 1.3 key demo rating for NBC's "Parenthood" finale.
[UPDATE: As predicted, Final Live+Same Date ratings boosted ABC to top the night overall as well. ABC ended up with 7.54 million viewers on average, compared to 7.37 million for CBS. "Grey's Anatomy" rose to 8.45 million viewers and "Scandal" rose to 10.57 million. The L+SD adjustments held very little else of note.]
All ratings information comes from preliminary Fast National Nielsen data, which includes live and same-day DVR viewing. All numbers are subject to change.