'Big Bang,' 'Two and a Half' are Thursday's top shows

NBC improved upon its woeful Thursday averages with a special hour of “The Voice,” but it was no match for CBS comedies “The Big Bang Theory” and “Two and a Half Men,” which were at, or close to, season-high levels in various categories and stood as the night’s top two programs in demos. CBS won the night across the board.

According to preliminary national estimates from Nielsen, “The Big Bang Theory” averaged a 5.0 rating/15 share in adults 18-49 and 16.5 million viewers overall — in line with its recent demo performances while matching the show’s largest audience ever; and given how the show typically grows in the nationals, a series-best audience is expected. It was followed by “Two and a Half Men” (4.0/11 in 18-49, 14.1 million viewers overall), which matched its season high with an episode featuring guest star Miley Cyrus.

From there, CBS dropped off but remained solid with “Person of Interest” (2.9/7 in 18-49, 14.7 million viewers overall), which was flat week to week and won in adults 25-54 (4.3/10), and “Elementary” (2.2/6 in 18-49, 10.7 million viewers overall), which was down a bit. The Sherlock Holmes drama this week was chosen by the network to air in the plum post-Super Bowl slot following the net’s coverage of the game in February.

CBS won the night in 18-49 and 25-54 and rolled in total viewers, winning each half-hour with ease.

Fox ran second in demos with “The X Factor” (2.3/6 in 18-49, 6.3 million viewers overall), which matched its delivery of last week, and “Glee” (2.4/6 in 18-49, 5.7 million viewers overall), which was off a bit from its last original five weeks ago. “X Factor” surged 38% week to week in teens (2.2/8 vs. 1.6/5) thanks to a performance by One Direction, and Fox held most of that audience with “Glee,” which was its timeslot’s No. 1 program in persons 12-34 (2.5/8).

At NBC, a special results-show edition of “The Voice” drew the show’s lowest ratings of the season (3.0/9 in 18-49, 9.1 million viewers overall). Still, it placed second in the tough hour, more than doubling the net’s same-night average this fall with comedies in the timeslot (1.3) and delivered NBC’s highest non-sports 18-49 rating in Thursday’s opening hour in nearly three years.

That seemed to lift “The Office” (2.5/7 in 18-49, 5.3 million viewers overall), which jumped to a season high, while “Parks and Recreation” (1.8/5 in 18-49, 3.8 million viewers overall) was up a bit from its recent airings. Closing out the night, “Rock Center” (1.1/3 in 18-49, 4.4 million viewers overall) had its second best score of the fall.

(Note that NBC’s numbers include a preemption in Indianapolis for the Colts’ game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, which aired nationally on NFL Network.)

ABC’s “Last Resort” (1.4/4 in 18-49, 6.0 million viewers overall) was up a tick from its low set two weeks ago against the World Series, jumping 25% in men 18-34 (to 1.0/3); the net is expected to make a decision soon regarding the show’s fate for the rest of the season beyond its intial 13-episode order. “Grey’s Anatomy” (3.2/8 in 18-49, 9.2 million viewers overall) also bounced up from its low of two weeks ago, leading the hour in 18-49. And “Scandal” (2.0/5 in 18-49, 6.1 million viewers overall) matched its delivery of two weeks ago, though it could edge down in the nationals.

CW’s “The Vampire Diaries” was down slightly week to week (1.4/4 in 18-49, 3.0 million viewers overall), and “Beauty and the Beast” was up a smidge (0.7/2 in 18-49, 1.9 million viewers overall).

Univision continues to do well with new 9 p.m. drama “Amores Verdaderos” (1.5/4 in 18-49, 3.6 million viewers overall), whose premiere on Monday drew the best numbers ever for one of the network’s novelas (1.9 rating in 18-49, 4.3 million viewers overall).

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: CBS, 3.2/9; Fox, 2.4/6; ABC, 2.2/6; NBC, 2.1/6; Univision, 1.4/4; CW, 1.1/3.

In total viewers: CBS, 13.6 million; ABC, 7.1 million; NBC and Fox, 6.0 million; Univision, 3.4 million; CW, 2.4 million.

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