Even on a night when most of its lineup was down, CBS rolled to a comfortable win in the ratings Thursday night, based on Nielsen overnights for the key 18-49 demo.
TVbytheNumbers.com reports that "The Big Bang Theory" came in as the top show on broadcast prime — by a lot — even as it saw a significant drop from last week. "Theory’s" 4.9 average rating in viewers 18-49 was down four-tenths of a point from a week ago, but the closest any other program could come was a 2.7 for ABC’s "Scandal."
"Theory" also delivered 17.26 million total viewers, with only CBS’s "The Millers" (11.1 million) and "Two and a Half Men" (10.04 million) also reaching double figures in the millions column.
"The Millers" was off three-tenths from a week ago in the 18-49 demo with a 2.6 average rating, while "Men" held steady with a 2.6. CBS’s "The Crazy Ones" inched up one-tenth to a 1.8 after scoring a series low last week, while "Elementary" slipped one-tenth to a 1.7.
The report notes that CBS numbers may be subject to more than the usual adjustments due to pre-emptions and delays related to college basketball.
Fox came in second, as a new season of "Hell’s Kitchen" premiered with a 1.9 average in 18-49 — two-tenths of a point below last year’s season opener. "American Idol" matched its number from a week ago, a 2.2.
The best demo number for third-place ABC was that 2.7 average for "Scandal" in adults 18-49, which was a season low — down one-tenth from a week ago. "Grey’s Anatomy" equaled its series low with a 2.3, falling three-tenths, and "Once Upon a Time in Wonderland" dipped one-tenth to a 0.8.
Fourth-place NBC didn’t have much to cheer about, with "Community" equaling its series low from last week, a 1.0 average in the 18-49 demo; "Hollywood Game Night" also equaling its series low, a 1.0, down one-tenth; and "Parks and Recreation" dipping two-tenths to a 1.1. "Parenthood" held steady with a 1.2.
For prime time overall, CBS won the 18-49 demo with a 2.5 average rating, ahead of Fox (2.1 average), ABC (1.9), NBC (1.1) and Univision (1.0). CBS also won total viewers, averaging 10.6 million to lead Fox (7.0 million), ABC (6.1 million), NBC (3.2 million) and Univision (2.6 million).