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Biggest ‘Bang’ ever on Thursday

CBS rolls as 'Men,' 'Person' hit season highs too

CBS dominated Thursday’s ratings action, as locomotive laffer “The Big Bang Theory” set a series high in total viewers and “Two and a Half Men” and “Person of Interest” pitched in with season highs as well.

According to preliminary national estimates from Nielsen, the 119th episode of “The Big Bang Theory” established a season high in adults 18-49 (5.5 rating/17 share) while drawing its largest overall audience ever (17.4 million) — almost unheard of for a show this late in its run. “Big Bang” grew about 8% week to week and beat the combined ABC-NBC-Fox competition in the half-hour by 20% in 18-49 (4.9/14). It was the night’s No. 1 series in every category except adults 50-plus (“Person of Interest”) and female teens (“Glee”).

That strong start to the night for CBS had a domino effect on the shows airing behind it, as “Two and a Half Men” (4.1/12 in 18-49, 13.9 million viewers overall) was up a tick week to week for its best score of the fall, and 9 p.m. drama “Person of Interest” (3.1/8 in 18-49, 14.5 million viewers overall) was up two ticks for its season high. Also on the rise was 10 p.m. first-year drama “Elementary” (2.3/7 in 18-49, 10.7 million viewers overall), which was the broadcast leader in the timeslot.

For the night, CBS cruised to victory in all categories.

Elsewhere, Fox’s “The X Factor” (2.4/7 in 18-49, 7.3 million viewers overall) was up a tenth in 18-49 and added 1 million total viewers from last week when it had “The Voice” as special competition, placing second for the hour in 18-49. And at 9, “Glee” (2.1/5 in 18-49, 5.3 million viewers overall) was down 12% to a season low.

At ABC, “Last Resort” didn’t help its cause by slipping week to week (1.3/4 in 18-49, 5.8 million viewers overall) and matching its lowest score to date. From there, the net saw its usual spike at 9 p.m. with “Grey’s Anatomy” (3.1/8 in 18-49, 8.7 million viewers overall), though this was its second lowest score of the season. And at 10, “Scandal” continues to have a solid sophomore season (2.1/6 in 18-49, 6.1 million viewers overall), matching its season high in the prelims; the show tends to be revised down in the nationals, but even if drops a tick, it will be up week to week.

NBC’s “30 Rock” (1.2/4 in 18-49, 3.4 million viewers overall) and “Up All Night” (1.3/4 in 18-49, 3.1 million viewers overall) returned after a two-week break to basically the same numbers they were at on Oct. 25. From there, “The Office” (2.0/5 in 18-49, 4.1 million viewers overall) was down from its “The Voice”-boosted season high of last week, but up slightly from its episode before that, and “Parks and Recreation” (1.7/4 in 18-49, 3.6 million viewers overall) was on par with its season average. Up a tick week to week, but remaining a distant third among the majors, was newsmag “Rock Center” (1.1/3 in 18-49, 4.0 million viewers overall).

CW’s “The Vampire Diaries” was down a few pegs this week (1.2/4 in 18-49, 2.8 million viewers overall), and rookie “Beauty and the Beast” (0.6/2 in 18-49, 1.6 million viewers overall) was down slightly.

Univision fared well with the “13th Annual Latin Grammy Awards” (1.9/5 in 18-49, 4.6 million viewers overall).

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: CBS, 3.4/10; ABC and Fox, 2.2/6; Univision, 1.9/5; NBC, 1.4/4; CW, 0.9/3.

In total viewers: CBS, 13.6 million; ABC, 6.9 million; Fox, 6.3 million; Univision, 4.6 million; NBC, 3.7 million; CW, 2.2 million.

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