'Big Bang Theory,' 'Two and a Half Men' are top shows

Led by “The Big Bang Theory” and “Two and a Half Men,” the top two shows of the night, CBS notched a victory in key demos on Thursday. ABC rookie “Last Resort” stumbled in its fifth outing, as did the net’s “Grey’s Anatomy,” but “Scandal” held up better.

According to preliminary national estimates from Nielsen, “The Big Bang Theory” (4.8 rating/15 share in adults 18-49, 15.4 million viewers overall) was easily Thursday’s top draw in 18-49, 25-54 (6.2/17) and total viewers, on par with last week (and likely to move ahead in the nationals). It was followed by another good showing by “Two and a Half Men” (3.7/11 in 18-49, 12.9 million viewers overall), which seems to be benefiting from the absence of Fox’s “The X Factor.”

That momentum carried over to 9 o’clock, where “Person of Interest” (3.0/8 in 18-49, 14.0 million viewers overall) grew 7% week to week to edge ahead of ABC’s “Grey’s Anatomy” (season-low 2.9/8 in 18-49, 8.5 million viewers overall) in 18-49 for the first time this season. And at 10, “Elementary” (2.2/6 in 18-49, 10.2 million viewers overall) was down a tick to its lowest same-night score to date but won among non-sports programs; the show has been a strong DVR performer, and likely lost some same-night viewers to baseball.

Fox’s World Series ran second in the prelims with a 2.9/8 in 18-49 and 10.2 million viewers overall on the net’s stations from 8 to 11 p.m., with these numbers expected to rise in the nationals and possibly move ahead of CBS. (The Eye, of course, would then win easily once any DVR playback is counted.)

At ABC, rookie drama “Last Resort” (1.3/4 in 18-49, 6.4 million viewers overall) had its first real poor outing, dropping 24% week to week. It was followed by “Grey’s,” which ran second in all categories and was down 15%, and “Scandal” (2.0/6 in 18-49, 6.3 million viewers overall), which held up well considering its reduced lead-in and could come in a bit ahead of last week.

Numbers for NBC’s shows could come down in the nationals due to a preemption for Vikings football in Minneapolis. In the prelims at least, “30 Rock” (1.3/4 in 18-49, 3.6 million viewers overall) and “Up All Night” (1.6/5 in 18-49, 3.9 million viewers overall) were up week to week, “The Office” was flat (2.1/6 in 18-9, 4.7 million viewers overall) and “Parks and Recreation” (1.9/5 in 18-49, 4.1 million viewers overall) and “Rock Center” (1.3/4 in 1-49, 4.3 million viewers overall) were up a few ticks too.

CW’s “The Vampire Diaries” (1.2/4 in 18-49, 2.7 million viewers overall) and “Beauty and the Beast” (0.7/2 in 18-49, 1.9 million viewers overall) were in line with last week, with the former beating both ABC and NBC among persons 12-34 (1.3/5).

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: CBS, 3.1/9; Fox, 2.9/8; ABC, 2.1/6; Univision, 1.6/5; NBC, 1.6/4; CW, 0.9/3.

In total viewers: CBS, 12.8 million; Fox, 10.0 million; ABC, 7.1 million; NBC, 4.1 million; Univision, 4.0 million; CW, 2.3 million.

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