A special prime-time broadcast gave NBC a ratings boost as the network matched its best Thursday night of the season, not counting the Olympics or "The Sound of Music Live!" special. Based on Nielsen overnights for the key 18-49 demo, NBC averaged a 1.7 rating for prime time, airing the "iHeart Radio Music Awards."
The program ran from 8-11 p.m., delivering a number that equaled the mark NBC hit previously when it aired a special episode of "The Voice," TVbytheNumbers.com reports. But it wasn't good enough to win the night, as CBS pulled a 2.2 average in the 18-49 demo to claim the top spot.
CBS continued to get big numbers for "The Big Bang Theory," even as the show slipped slightly. "Bang" came up with a 4.4 average in 18-49 to place as the top show on broadcast prime by a wide margin. The number was off 2% from a week ago.
The rest of the CBS lineup was also mostly down. "The Millers" dipped 13% from a week ago to a 2.1 average in the 18-49 demo; "Two and a Half Men" also delivered a 2.1, off 16%; "Bad Teacher" plunged 29% from the premiere to a 2.1; and "Elementary" held steady with a 1.6.
Following a "Grey's Anatomy" rerun (0.9 average in 18-49), ABC rolled out a new "Grey's" featuring the return of Isaiah Washington, with the show ticking up 13% to a 2.6 after hitting a series low a week ago. "Black Box" failed to gain traction in the 10 p.m. slot, slipping 13% from the premiere to a 1.3 average.
Fox continued to see "American Idol" hit low marks. Thursday's half-hour installment sank 17% from a week ago to a 1.5 average in the 18-49 demo, a series low. "Surviving Jack" equaled its 1.0 from a week ago, and "Hell's Kitchen" slipped 6% to a 1.6.
For prime time overall, CBS's 2.2 average was the best number in adults 18-49, followed by NBC (1.7 average), ABC (1.6), Fox (1.4) and Univision (1.1). CBS was well ahead of the pack in total viewers, averaging 9.4 million to lead ABC (6.1 million), NBC (5.4 million), Fox (4.9 million) and Univision (2.9 million).