Big Bang Theory

CBS dominated Thursday’s ratings race, as its comedies “The Big Bang Theory,” “The Millers” and “Two and a Half Men” all were at the high end of their range while ABC’s dramas “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Scandal” cooled off after their hot returns one week earlier. It was also a good night for CW’s “Reign,” which was up 25% or more across the board, but a bad one for Fox’s “American Idol,” which hit a low with its results show.

According to preliminary national estimates from Nielsen, “The Big Bang Theory” (5.2 rating/17 share in adults 18-49, 17.9 million viewers overall) was easily the night’s No. 1 program, up from last week and matching its season high. It was followed by “The Millers” (3.0/9 in 18-49, 11.8 million viewers overall), which retained a stronger-than-usual percentage of its lead-in, and “Two and a Half Men” (2.7/8 in 18-49, 10.5 million viewers overall), which drew its best numbers since its season premiere. While “Men” looked good in its new timeslot, rising 8% week-to-week and edging ahead of an original “Grey’s Anatomy” in 18-49 for the first time, rookie “The Crazy Ones” took a step back at 9:30 p.m. (1.7/5 in 18-49, 7.1 million viewers overall), down about 10% but still placing second for its timeslot. At 10 p.m., “Elementary” was up a tick (1.7/5 in 18-49, 8.5 million viewers overall), placing second in demos while edging ahead of “Scandal” in total viewers.

At ABC, “Scandal” (2.8/8 in 18-49, 8.4 million viewers overall) was down about 15% from last week, which marked the show’s first episode since late fall; still, it dominated its hour in demos and figures to again rank as the week’s top-rated broadcast drama in 18-49. It was a quiet return, meanwhile, for “Once Upon a Time in Wonderland” (0.8/3 in 18-49, 3.1 million viewers overall), which matched its prior original from mid-December, and self-starter “Grey’s Anatomy” followed (2.6/7 in 18-49, 8.2 million viewers overall), down about 15% from last week’s spring premiere but winning its hour in 18-49.

At CW, the already-renewed “Reign” (0.7/2 in 18-49, 1.8 million viewers overall) matched its series high in women 18-34 (1.0/3) and shot up more than 30% week-to-week in total viewers for its best number since December. Opening the night, “The Vampire Diaries” (1.0/3 in 18-49, 2.2 million viewers overall) was up a bit from its below-average results of last week.

“Reign” nearly caught Fox’s “Rake” (0.8/2 in 18-49, 3.6 million viewers overall) in the 18-49 demo, though the Greg Kinnear series managed to match its week-ago score despite a softer lead-in from “American Idol” (2.2/7 in 18-49, 9.7 million viewers overall), which was down 8% from last week’s 2.4 to hit another low. Starting next week, the “Idol” results show moves to 9 p.m., following the return of “Hell’s Kitchen”; “Rake” is shifting to Friday.

NBC opened with an average “Community” (1.0/3 in 18-49, 2.8 million viewers overall), followed by slight week-to-week gains for “Parks and Recreation” (1.2/4 in 18-49). In its second week as a Thursday regular, 9 p.m. gameshow “Hollywood Game Night” (1.1/3 in 18-49, 3.3 million viewers overall) was just about at last week’s level, and closing things out was a slight uptick for “Parenthood” (1.2/4 in 18-49, 3.8 million viewers overall).

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: CBS, 2.7/8; ABC, 2.1/6; Fox, 1.5/4; NBC, 1.1/3; CW, 0.8/3.

In total viewers: CBS, 10.7 million; ABC and Fox, 6.6 million; NBC, 3.3 million; CW, 2.0 million.

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: CBS, 2.7/8; ABC, 2.1/6; Fox, 1.5/4; NBC, 1.1/3; CW, 0.8/2.

In total viewers: CBS, 10.7 million; ABC and Fox, 6.6 million; NBC, 3.3 million; CW, 2.0 million.

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