CMA Awards lifts ABC

CBS' 'The Big Bang Theory' highest-rated show of night

Though it wasn’t the top show of the night, ABC’s coverage of the CMA Awards was enough to lift the Alphabet to a win in Thursday’s ratings race.

ABC’s normal Thursday lineup – “Last Resort,” “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Scandal” – had a night off to make room for the kudofest. With the awards filling all three hours, the net’s Thursday average rose.

The CMA’s drew a 3.8 rating/10 share in the 18-49 demo, and 13.5 million total viewers, according to early estimates from Nielsen. The demos were a 21% drop from a year ago and this marks the event’s lowest-rated telecast.

However, this year’s edition shifted from a traditional Wednesday to Thursday timeslot, and there are still many without power in the country due to the hurricane.

Except for 8 o’clock, ABC won or tied all half-hours in both the 18-49 and 18-34 demos and, overall, it was the net’s best night of the season in the 18-49 demo.

CBS’ powerhouse comedy “The Big Bang Theory” was both the most-watched and highest-rated show of the night. The nerdy laffer drew 15.6 million viewers and a 5.1/15.

Like the rest of the Eye’s lineup, “Big Bang” was basically on par from a week ago. “Big Bang” lead-out “Two and a Half Men” (3.6/10, 12.6m) was the only other sitcom Thursday. Dramas “Person of Interest” (3.0/8, 13.4m) and newbie “Elementary” (2.4/6, 10.4m) followed at 9 and 10 p.m., respectively.

Fox’s “X-Factor” results show, in which the final contestants were chosen, generated a 2.3/8, with 6.1 million viewers tuning in. That was even in the demo from a week ago, and up slightly in total viewers.

NBC didn’t offer much competition as the Peacock repeated a two-hour episode of “The Voice” (1.3/3, 3.7m), followed by “Rock Center With Brian Williams” (1.3/3, 4.7M), which focused on the devastation of Hurricane Sandy.

Over at the CW, “The Vampire Diaries” (1.5/4, 3.1m) had its most watched episode since its season premiere while “Beauty and the Beast” (0.6/2, 1.7m) was flat.

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: ABC, 3.8/10; CBS, 3.2/9; Fox, 2.3/6; NBC, 1.3/3; CW, 1.1/3

In total viewers: ABC, 13.5 million; CBS, 12.7 million; Fox, 5.6 million; NBC, 4.1 million; CW, 2 million;