If NBC hopes to reclaim the Thursday night ratings glory of its "Must-See TV" era, last night’s Nielsen numbers show that the Peacock has a long way to climb.
TVbytheNumbers.com reports that three NBC series equaled their all-time lows in the key 18-49 demo, based on the overnights. For prime time overall, NBC finished in fifth place behind Univision, with the CW just one-tenth of a point back.
To make matters worse, the report adds: "Last night’s ‘Thursday Night Football’ game (Colts/Titans) was simulcast on the NBC affiliate in Indianapois and the Fox affilliate in Nashville. As a result, the NBC and Fox results may be inflated and subject to more than typical adjustments in the finals."
Equaling series lows were NBC’s "Parks and Recreation" (1.2 average in 18-49, down 8% from its most recent original episode), "Sean Saves the World" (1.0, down a troubling 29% from a week ago) and "The Michael J. Fox Show" (1.0, matching last week’s series low).
A second original episode of "Parks and Recreation" also delivered a 1.2 in the 18-49 demo, while "Parenthood" was the network’s highest-rated show with a 1.3, equaling its number from the previous week.
At the other end of the ratings spectrum, CBS was mostly up, coasting to a win for the night with its blockbuster comedy "The Big Bang Theory" leading the way. "Bang" was up 4% from a week ago with a 5.1 average in viewers 18-49 to finish as the top show on broadcast prime by a substantial margin.
CBS’s "The Millers" was also up, rising 4% from last week’s series low to deliver a 2.7 in 18-49, while "Two and a Half Men" ticked up 5% to a 2.1. "The Crazy Ones" was steady with a 2.1, and "Elementary" lost ground, dipping 11% to a 1.6.
ABC had the No. 2 show of the night, as "Scandal" delivered a 2.9 to win the 10 p.m. hour, rising 4% from last week’s season low. But ABC had its own problems, with "Once Upon a Time in Wonderland" and "Grey’s Anatomy" both equaling their series lows. "Wonderland" came in with a 0.9 in adults 18-49, matching last week’s number, while "Grey’s" fell 4% to match its series low with a 2.6 average.
Fox saw "The X Factor" improve 17% on last week’s series low with a 1.4 average in 18-49, while "Glee" equaled last week’s series low, a 1.5.
For prime time overall, CBS’s 2.5 average in viewers 18-49 was enough for the win, followed by ABC (2.1 average), Fox (1.4), Univision (1.2), NBC (1.1) and CW (1.0). CBS was comfortably ahead in total viewers with 10.6 million, followed by ABC (7.0 million), Fox (4.9 million), NBC (3.5 million), Univision (3.2 million) and CW (2.2 million).