Eye's 'Interest' hits high; NBC's 'Awake' down 20%

Taking advantage of a stronger lead-in and no original ”Grey’s Anatomy” competition, CBS rookie drama ”Person of Interest” hit a high Thursday to help the net earn a demo tie with Fox. Meanwhile, NBC’s ”Awake” fell off in its second week, but is still above-average for the net in the timeslot.

According to preliminary national estimates from Nielsen, CBS opened the night an across-the-board winner with ”The Big Bang Theory” (5.1 rating/15 share in adults 18-49, 15.2 million viewers overall), down a bit vs. its last original episode but still ahead of Fox’s ”American Idol” by 1 share in 18-49 and 25-54 and by 3 shares in 18-34. A ”Big Bang” repeat did very well at 8:30 (second-place 4.0/11 in 18-49, 12.9 million viewers overall), helping ”Person of Interest” establish highs at 9 (3.4/9 in 18-49, 15.8 million viewers overall), up 10% from its most recent original episode. And closing out the night, ”The Mentalist” was an easy winner among the broadcast networks in all categories (2.8/8 in 18-49, 13.8 million viewers overall) and figures to be neck-and-neck with MTV’s ”Jersey Shore” for the lead among adults 18-49.

For the night, CBS tied Fox for the lead among adults 18-49 (3.6/10), with the Eye pulling ahead in 25-54 and total viewers. (Note that CBS had some small-market preemptions for basketball, which could affect its final numbers for the night.)

At Fox, ”American Idol” (4.8/15 in 18-49, 17.0 million viewers overall) was down from last week’s two-hour episode but stood as the night’s No. 1 show in women 18-49 and total viewers; its second half-hour beat the ”Big Bang” repeat by 3 shares in 18-49. It was followed by rookie drama ”The Finder” (2.3/6 in 18-49, 7.3 million viewers overall), which was up vs. its last episode, placing second in the 9 o’clock hour.

At NBC, ”30 Rock” continues to struggle kicking off the night (1.4/4 in 18-49, 3.5 million viewers overall) but ”Parks and Recreation” jumped 12% week to week at 8:30 p.m. (1.9/5 in 18-49, 3.8 million viewers overall) with its best scores since mid-January. In the 9 o’clock hour, ”The Office” (2.6/7 in 18-49, 5.0 million viewers overall) and ”Up All Night” (1.7/4 in 18-49, 3.5 million viewers overall) were each up a tick week to week, with the former easily leading its timeslot among adults 18-34 (2.8/9). And at 10, dual-reality drama ”Awake” (1.6/4 in 18-49, 4.3 million viewers overall) ran second among the broadcast networks, falling 20% from its OK bow of last week when it didn’t face an original ”Mentalist.” Despite the decline, the demo rating is still the second best for a regular NBC drama in the hour (behind last week) since the series opener of ”Prime Suspect” in September.

ABC aired repeats of Thursday regulars ”Wipeout” (1.3/4 in 18-49, 4.6 million viewers overall) and ”Grey’s Anatomy” (1.4/4 in 18-49, 4.1 million viewers overall), followed by an encore of new Sunday series ”GCB” (1.3/4 in 18-49, 3.8 million viewers overall). The net bows Ashley Judd drama ”Missing” in Thursday’s 8 o’clock hour next week.

CW went with repeats of ”The Vampire Diaries” (0.4/1 in 18-49, 1.2 million viewers overall) and Friday drama ”Supernatural” (0.3/1 in 18-49, 0.9 million viewers overall) at a special time.

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: CBS and Fox, 3.6/10; NBC, 1.8/5; ABC and Univision, 1.4/4; CW, 0.4/1.

In total viewers: CBS, 14.5 million; Fox, 12.1 million; ABC, 4.2 million; NBC, 4.0 million; Univision, 3.5 million; CW, 1.0 million.

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