‘Big Bang,’ ‘Millers,’ ‘Reign’ Rise Thursday While Fox’s ‘Idol’ Hits Another Low, ABC’s Dramas Fall

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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  1. ThomT says:

    And the newest issue of TV Guide heralds Harry Connick Jr (cover story) for “saving” Idol. Apparently someone at TV Guide failed to review the numbers.

  2. Mark Isenberg says:

    It has been a bad Idol season thus far with the producers pushing younger and younger singers who are not ready for this type of short song competition. The judges have not been all that helpful but there is one person who continues to stand out for his bad behavior and his name is Ryan Seacrest. He has coddled and been as superficial in trying to get singers feelings or their relatives support as can be. Some people blame the old days of Simon or Randy as sending the wrong tone but there are some performers in this group who should not be here and Ryan should in consultation with the producers have tried to limit the singers who are ready to shine vs. those who are still struggling due to age or the songs they pick. Ratings will stay lower till the final round because Ryan has helped lower the bar as to who is talented enough to be in the spotlight.

  3. MichaelZ says:

    $30 million+ for J. Lo to help Fox executives lose 60% of “Idol’s” audience. They should all get a raise!

    • ThomT says:

      They probably will. After last season “Idol” should have been cancelled or at least shelved for a couple of seasons.

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