CBS, Fox top night; 'Awake,' 'Grey's' post gains

“The Big Bang Theory” and “American Idol” were the highest-rated programs among young adults on Thursday as their respective nets, CBS and Fox, again topped the night’s leaderboard. Surprisingly, none of the five shows wrapping their seasons on CBS, NBC and CW posted week-to-week gains.

Fox edged CBS for the night’s lead in adults 18-49, according to Nielsen prelims, even though the Eye won head-to-head in their two common hours. CBS won easily in adults 25-54 and total viewers while Fox held the advantage among the 12-34 crowd.

At CBS, the season finale of “The Big Bang Theory,” featuring the wedding of Howard and Bernadette, opened the night a winner in all key adult demos (4.2 rating/15 share in adults 18-49, 13.3 million viewers overall). It was down week to week (by 10% in the prelims but probably less in the nationals) but will come in ahead of last year by roughly 20%. It also figures to show especially large DVR gains, as the male-friendly show was opposed by key NBA playoff games in major markets Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, Boston and Atlanta.

The night’s No. 1 show in demos was followed by second-place finishes for “Rules of Engagement” at 8:30 (2.7/9 in 18-49, 8.9 million viewers overall) and “Person of Interest” (2.6/7 in 18-49, 12.7 million viewers overall) at 9, and “The Mentalist” capped the night an across-the-board winner (2.4/7 in 18-49, 12.4 million viewers overall).

Fox’s “American Idol” results show (3.9/13 in 18-49, 15.1 million viewers overall) was on par with last week and stood as the night’s No. 2 show in 18-49 and No. 1 in total viewers. Also holding steady was 9 p.m. rookie drama “Touch” (2.0/6 in 18-49, 6.9 million viewers overall), which earlier this week was granted a second-season renewal.

At ABC, “Missing” (1.1/4 in 18-49, 6.4 million viewers overall) was in line with last week, but “Grey’s Anatomy” edged up (3.4/9 in 18-49, 9.6 million viewers overall), winning its hour in key demos with a 13-week high (best since Feb. 9) and outperforming its comparable episode of last season. And at 10, “Scandal” stayed in roughly the same range it has been in for the duration of its run (2.0/6 in 18-49, 6.5 million viewers overall). All three dramas wrap next week.

NBC’s season finales of “The Office” (2.2/6 in 18-49, 4.4 million viewers overall) and “Parks and Recreation” (1.7/5 in 18-49, 3.5 million viewers overall) didn’t see any growth, with both roughly at last week’s levels. Also holding pretty steady were “Community” (1.4/5 in 18-49, 3.1 million viewers overall) and “30 Rock” (1.5/5 in 18-49, 2.9 million viewers overall), while 10 p.m. drama “Awake” was on the upswing (0.9/2 in 18-49, 2.5 million viewers overall).

At CW, the finales of “The Vampire Diaries” (1.1/4 in 18-49, 2.5 million viewers overall) and “The Secret Circle” (0.5/2 in 18-49, 1.2 million viewers overall) were in line with last week’s performances. “Vampire” pulled even with ABC’s “Missing” in 18-49 and beat it in all under-35 categories.

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: Fox, 2.9/9; CBS, 2.8/8; ABC, 2.2/6; NBC and Univision, 1.4/4; CW, 0.8/2;

In total viewers: CBS, 12.1 million; Fox, 11.0 million; ABC, 7.5 million; Univision, 3.6 million; NBC, 3.2 million; CW, 1.9 million.

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