Winter Games draw 25.3 million viewers Thursday

Though it couldn’t match the heights of the previous night’s golden performance, NBC’s Winter Olympics coverage Thursday still drew a cool

25.3 million viewers in primetime, more than doubling up its closest competition.

The Olympics had a 7.1 rating and 19 share in the 18-49 demo, according to preliminary nationals from Nielsen, compared with 8.9/23 Wednesday, when the U.S. won six medals.

CBS’ “Survivor” (3.9 rating/11 share in the 18-49 demo, 11.9 million viewers overall) provided the closest challenge to the Olympics, which came in at 6.2/18, 24.2 million from 8-9 p.m. Little else proved attractive to auds, whether struggling ABC rookie “The Deep End” (1.1/3, 4.3 million) or reruns of Fox’s “Bones” (1.6/4, 5.7

million) and “The Vampire Diaries” (0.7/2, 1.7 million) on the CW.

ABC’s flashback-infused episode of “Grey’s Anatomy” (3.7/9, 10.2

million) was tops among scripted programming at 9 p.m., in an hour that the Olympics surged to its audience peak (8.3/21, 28.4 million, compared with 9.0/22, 30.1 million in the hour Wednesday). Similarly, ABC’s “Private Practice” (2.8/7, 7.6 million) was tops among episodic shows at 10 p.m.; the Olympics drew a 6.8/18, 23.3 million in its final primetime hour.

CBS flip-flopped the usual timeslots of “The Mentalist” (1.9/5, 8.8

million) and “CSI” (1.7/5, 7.9 million), with “Mentalist” having no trouble holding off Fox newbie “Past Life” (1.1/3, 3.5 million) and the CW’s “Supernatural” (0.7/2, 1.6 million) at 9.

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: NBC 7.1/19, CBS 2.5/7, ABC 2.5/7, Univision 2.2/6, Fox 1.3/4, CW 0.7/2.

In total viewers: NBC 25.3 million, CBS 9.6 million, ABC 7.4 million, Univision 5.2 million, Fox 4.6 million, CW 1.6 million.

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