Scandal

CBS' 'Big Bang Theory' rises remains the night's top series; NBC's 'Sing Off' beats Fox's 'X Factor'

The fall finales of ABC’s “Scandal” and “Grey’s Anatomy” won their hours on Thursday but a huge “Big Bang Theory” leading things off kept the night in CBS’ corner.

The Alphabet dramas won’t return until late winter (Feb. 27), but their cliffhanger episodes on Thursday gave the net its best showing in the 9-11 p.m. block since Oct. 17. Following the low-rated “Once Upon a Time in Wonderland” (0.9/3 in 18-49, 3.5 million viewers overall), “Grey’s Anatomy” (2.7/8 in 18-49, 8.5 million viewers overall) surged 17% (0.4) from its low of last week to stand as the top series for the 9 o’clock hour in 18-49 and 25-54 (3.1/8, tied with CBS in the prelims). And at 10 p.m., “Scandal” (3.2/9 in 18-49, 9.3 million viewers overall) was up 7% (0.2) from last week and matched the hour’s combined 18-49 scores of competing dramas “Elementary” and “Parenthood.”

Elsewhere, CBS’ preliminary numbers could be adjusted in the nationals due to a preemption in San Diego and Denver for the Charger-Broncos game. One thing that won’t change is the status of “The Big Bang Theory” as the night’s No. 1 show, logging a preliminary 5.3/17 in adults 18-49 and 18.6 million viewers overall — its top demo rating since its season premiere. “Big Bang Theory” was Thursday’s No. 1 series in every category except women 18-34 (“Scandal”).

“The Millers” (2.9/9 in 18-49, 12.0 million viewers overall) was also on the high side in the prelims; if it holds, this would be its best scores since October. And performing more in line with recent originals were “The Crazy Ones” (2.1/6 in 18-49, 8.9 million viewers overall), “Two and a Half Men” (2.1/6 in 18-49, 9.4 million viewers overall) and “Elementary” (1.8/5 in 18-49, 9.5 million viewers overall).

NBC, which scored big last Thursday with its “The Sound of Music Live,” came back to earth this week. “The Sing-Off” (1.4/4 in 18-49, 4.5 million viewers overall) was down 22% from Wednesday’s average (1.8) but fared better than the net’s series average in the timeslot this fall and beat Fox’s “The X Factor” (1.2/4 in 18-49, 4.9 million viewers overall) for a second straight night. It was followed by half-hours “Sean Saves the World” (1.0/3 in 18-49, 3.4 million viewers overall) and “The Michael J. Fox Show” (0.9/3 in 18-49, 3.0 million viewers overall), which returned from a three-week break on par or slightly above its previous episodes. At 10 p.m., “Parenthood” (1.2/4 in 18-49, 3.9 million viewers overall) was about average in 18-49 while drawing its largest overall audience since Oct. 24.

It was a quiet night for Fox, which followed “X Factor” with a repeat “Glee” (0.7/2 in 18-49, 2.5 million viewers overall).

CW’s “The Vampire Diaries” (1.0/3 in 18-49, 2.4 million viewers overall) and “Reign” (0.6/2 in 18-49, 1.9 million viewers overall) matched their week-ago averages. In women 18-34 (1.4/5), “Vampire” beat both ABC and Fox for its hour.

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: CBS, 2.7/8; ABC, 2.2/7; NBC, 1.2/3; Univision, 1.1/3; Fox, 1.0/3; Telemundo, 0.7/2.

In total viewers: CBS, 11.3 million; ABC, 7.1 million; NBC, 3.9 million; Fox, 3.7 million; Univision, 2.9 million; CW, 2.1 million; Telemundo, 1.6 million.

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