TV Ratings: Winter Olympics lead NBC past 'Big Bang Theory' and 'American Idol' on Thursday
It's the biggest network Thursday since September
Follow HitFix: Follow @hitfix
The Opening Ceremonies for the 2014 Winter Olympics won't air until Friday, but Thursday's "bonus" night from Sochi delivered big ratings to NBC as the canned sporting events led the network to easy wins, crushing FOX's "American Idol" and also topping CBS' powerhouse "Big Bang Theory."
The Olympics took a big bite out everything in its path on Thursday, knocking "Rake" and "The Crazy Ones" to series lows and siphoning viewers elsewhere.
It's a reminder why you'll be seeing a lot of repeats in the next two weeks.
On to the numbers...
Among adults 18-49, NBC averaged a 5.8 rating for Thursday primetime, far ahead of the competition in the key demographic. CBS was second with a 2.5 key demo rating, followed by FOX's 2.1 key demo rating. There was another big drop to ABC's 1.0 key demo rating and the 0.8 key demo rating for The CW.
Overall, NBC averaged an estimated 19.56 million viewers and an 11.1 rating/17 share for Thursday night. CBS was a distant second with 10.41 million viewers and a 6.5/10. FOX's 7.64 million viewers and 4.6/7 lapped ABC's 2.1/3 and 3.22 million viewers and the 1.9 million viewers and 1.3/2 for The CW.
8 p.m. - NBC's Olympics coverage started primetime in first with 18.99 million viewers and a 5.6 rating among adults 18-49. CBS was second with "The Big Bang Theory" (17.2 million and a 5.0 key demo) and "The Millers" (10.93 million and a 2.7 key demo). ["The Big Bang Theory" actually outdrew the Olympics among adults 25-54, but otherwise the demos favored NBC.[ FOX's "American Idol" averaged 10.94 million viewers and a 3.0 key demo rating, rather comfortably ahead of the 3.17 million viewers and 1.0 key demo rating for "The Taste" on ABC. The CW's "The Vampire Diaries" averaged 2.13 million viewers and a 0.9 key demo rating.
9 p.m. - The Olympics rose to 21.42 million viewers and a 6.3 rating among adults 18-49 for NBC in the 9 p.m. hour. CBS was a distant second with "The Crazy Ones" (7.55 million and a 1.7 key demo) and "Two and a Half Men" (8.125 million and a 1.8 key demo). FOX's "Rake" averaged 4.34 million viewers and a 1.1 key demo rating, holding off the 3.165 million viewers and 1.0 key demo rating for ABC's "The Taste." The CW's "Reign" was barely impacted by the Olympics with 1.66 million viewers and a 0.6 key demo rating.
10 p.m. - The Olympics closed primetime with 18.26 million viewers and a 5.6 rating among adults 18-49 for NBC. CBS' "Elementary" was second with 9.33 million viewers and a 1.8 key demo rating, while ABC's "Shark Tank" repeat averaged 3.33 million viewers and a 0.9 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.