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Top Thursday Shows ‘Big Bang,’ ‘Idol’ Hit Season Lows

But comedy is easily tops on the night in young adults; CBS' 'Person of Interest' is No. 1 drama

The start of Daylight Saving Time didn’t seem to affect the ratings for shows earlier in the week, but Thursday biggies “The Big Bang Theory” and “American Idol” both hit season lows last night, though remained the night’s top shows.

CBS won in all key categories, with “Person of Interest” the night’s top drama. The net’s averages could be adjusted some in the nationals due to preemptions and delays in 3% of the country due to college basketball.

According to preliminary national estimates from Nielsen, “The Big Bang Theory” averaged a 4.5 rating/15 share in adults 18-49 and 15.7 million viewers overall in the 8 o’clock half-hour, down more than 15% week to week but far and away the night’s top draw in demos. It was followed by “Two and a Half Men” (3.3/10 in 18-49, 12.4 million viewers overall), which was down 15% and tied with Fox’s “American Idol” for the 18-49 lead at 8:30 p.m. after beating it head to head for the first time last week.

Person of Interest” followed for CBS (2.9/8 in 18-49, 14.6 million viewers overall), up a tick from last week and defeating drama rival “Grey’s Anatomy” on ABC (2.6/7 in 18-49, 8.0 million viewers overall). And at 10, “Elementary” (2.4/7 in 18-49, 11.5 million viewers overall) handily beat the repeat dramas on ABC and NBC.

At Fox, “American Idol” (3.0/10 in 18-49, 11.6 million viewers overall) logged the lowest 18-49 score on record for a regular episode, declining about 15% from last week; it got thumped at 8 p.m. by CBS’ “Big Bang Theory” (4.5/15 to 2.7/9). And at 9, “Glee” (2.0/6 in 18-49, 5.5 million viewers overall) was down from last week’s episode, which started at 9:30 p.m. and faced repeats of the top shows on the competition.

ABC opened with a “Shark Tank” repeat (1.3/4 in 18-49, 4.6 million viewers overall), which was up slightly from last week and led into “Grey’s Anatomy,” which appears to have matched its series low 18-49 score (likely a 2.7 in the nationals), down about 13% week to week. A repeat “Scandal” closed the night (1.2/4 in 18-49, 4.3 million viewers overall).

At NBC, “Community” took a tumble (1.0/4 in 18-49, 2.6 million viewers overall), down more than 30% (0.5) from last week, but “Parks and Recreation” rallied at 8:30 p.m. (1.6/5 in 18-49, 3.0 million viewers overall), up 14% (0.2) from its most recent original on Feb. 21; it tied with ‘ “Two and a Half Men” for the timeslot lead in men 18-34 (1.7), ahead of “American Idol” (1.4). “The Office” (1.9/5 in 18-49, 3.6 million viewers overall) and “1600 Penn” (1.0/3 in 18-49, 2.3 million viewers overall) were in line with their most recent firstrun episodes, and a repeat “Law & Order: SVU” (0.9/3 in 18-49, 3.7 million viewers overall) closed out the night.

CW’s “The Vampire Diaries” (1.1/4 in 18-49, 2.5 million viewers overall) was on the low side with its return to originals, followed by “Beauty and the Beast” (0.5/1 in 18-49, 1.5 million viewers overall), whose status for a second season remains up in the air.

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: CBS, 3.1/9; Fox, 2.5/7; ABC, 1.67/5; Univision, 1.5/4; NBC, 1.2/4; CW, 0.8/3.
In total viewers: CBS, 13.4 million; Fox, 8.5 million; ABC, 5.6 million; Univision, 3.5 million; NBC, 3.2 million; CW, 2.0 million.

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